Business stakeholders need to have clear and realistic goals if they want to meet commitments in application development. As a consequence, at early stages they prioritize requirements. However, requirements do change. The effect of change forces the stakeholders to balance alternatives and reprioritize requirements accordingly. In this paper we discuss the problem of priorities to non-functional requirements subjected to change. We, then, propose an approach to help smooth the impact of such changes. Our approach favors the translation of nonoperational specifications into operational definitions that can be evaluated once the system is developed. It uses the goal-question-metric method as the major support to decompose non-operational specifications into operational ones. We claim that the effort invested in operationalizing NFRs helps dealing with changing requirements during system development. Based on this transformation and in our experience, we provide guidelines to prioritize volatile non-functional requirements.