Ever been involved in a peer review that was paralysed by intractable arguments over phrasing?
Using a standard template for requirements definition will improve collaboration amongst your fellow BA's and stakeholders to help avoid those style over substance arguments that sometimes break out.
Picking the requirement template depends on what you're trying to express at what requirement level (known as a requirement classification in the BABOK® )
Here's a few ideas for requirement templates that you can use for the BABOK® requirement classes:
Business objectives '[business function] [functional objective]'
Corporate services will increase compliance of correspondence management such that there will be no critical issues identified in the annual internal audit.
Simple statement of capability
'The [stakeholder] shall be able to [capability]'
The administration officer shall be able to register inbound correspondence.
Statement of capability with a performance constraint
'The [stakeholder] shall be able to [capability] within [performance] of [event]'
The administration officer shall be able to register inbound correspondence within the day of receiving the mail bag
Statement of compliance
'The [stakeholder] shall not be placed in breach of [law or regulation]'
The administration office shall not be placed in breach of the public records act.
Agile user story
For agile projects, a common boilerplate used with User Stories is:
'As a [stakeholder], I want to [function] so that [benefit]'
As an administration officer, I want to register inbound correspondence so that all correspondence will be tracked.
'The [solution] shall [function] [object] [performance] [unit]'
The document management system shall register inbound correspondence so that 1,000 items of correspondence is processed within 8 hours.