Since beginning our mission to “Rethink Requirements,” we’ve encountered many teams stuggling to…
- Develop new requirements specification from scratch
- Improve the structure and format of existing requirements documents
- Getting approval for their requirements documents quickly
- Comply with standards such as the U.S. DoD’s MIL-STD-961E
- Streamline the process of specifying commercial products
So we set out to develop a requirements template that not only conforms to MIL-STD-961E, but also makes starting a new
specification document fast & straightforward.
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What our MIL-STD-961E Requirements Document Template Includes
- Title page formatting
- Paragraph structure
- Section headings
- Placeholders for program-specific information
- Required and optional “boilerplate” paragraphs
- Table of contents
- Concluding material
So, you can be sure your specification will conform to the standard’s requirements. The template also includes some
suggestions for other material, such as how imperative verbs – like “shall” and “will” – are meant to be interpreted by
users of the specification.
As with the boilerplate material, you simply keep the paragraphs you need, modify what you must, and discard the rest.
Plus, inline instructions have been included throughout the template. These describe how to fill in each section and
explain any boilerplate
paragraphs provided. Plus, they reference the corresponding paragraphs in MIL-STD-961E, in case you need further
direction. And finally, this requirements specification template comes with an instruction sheet, which provides an
overview of the template
and the initial steps you should take as you begin using it. Its purpose is to orient first-time users and provide a
“memory refresh” before each subsequent use.
Guide for Writing Individual Functional Requirements
Alongside the MIL-STD-961E Requirements Document Template, we’ve also developed templates to help you fill
in your individual specifications faster and more efficiently. As there’s no point in filling in a
well-formatted requirements document with poor
requirements. This additional document, Templates for Writing Concise Functional Requirements, provides
recommended syntax and examples for writing clear, concise requirements based on the Easy Approach to
Requirement Specification (EARS)
models. The six EARS models cover most functional specification situations systems engineers will likely
encounter. Requirements written using the EARS method benefit from:
- Standardization. They share common syntax based on specific keywords, which
facilitates consistent interpretation.
- Clarity. The models are concise, which reduces the possibility of
- Efficiency. They help you find the right words quickly, so you fill in your
In short, these templates (along with the examples provided) help systems engineers write clear, concise,
unequivocal, testable requirements. And that helps you get your requirements document through the review
Why Reference MIL-STD-961E?
As stated in its opening paragraph, MIL-STD-961E “establishes the format and content requirements for the preparation
of defense specifications and program-unique specifications prepared either by DoD activities or by contractors for the
DoD.” In other
words, if you’re going to develop a requirements specification for the U.S. DoD, it will likely have to comply with
this standard. Otherwise, it’s a fantastic standard for systems engineers, project managers, and business analysts to
follow for authoring
clear requirements documents. The standard provides a clear, simple yet thorough structure for developing a sound
specification. That’s why we recommend this particular template.
Get the Files:
Your MIL-STD-961E Requirements Document Template, which includes all the document
structure, formatting and boilerplate text
required to comply with MIL-STD-961E, plus inline instructions to help you fill in your template and build
An Instruction Sheet, which explains how to get started with your MIL-STD-961E
Requirements Document Template.
Read this first!
Your Templates for Writing Individual Functional Requirements, for writing clear
requirements based on the EARS
Download the Free Template Files
We've packaged up our document template, individual requirements template based on the EARs method, and an instruction sheet.
Suggestions welcome. Please send any suggestions or comments you may have on how we might improve this template to: firstname.lastname@example.org.