The general consensus is that the most important benefit that SOWs (Statement of Work) offer is the transparency they ensure between clients and companies.
A statement of work is a document that provides a description of a given project’s requirements. It defines the scope of work being provided, project deliverables, timelines, work location, and payment terms and conditions.
There are many SOW templates available to help get managers started. However, to write a statement of work can be somewhat complex. Getting everything included to ensure the scope of services is detailed enough is critical.
Elements of an SOW can include:
- Purpose of the project
- Scope of work being performed
- Location of the project, project length, and any work requirements
- Expected deadlines and deliverables
- Acceptance criteria
- Any hardware and software required
- Performance-based standards to be met
A concise and well written SOW, mitigates the risk of overspend by ensuring both supplier and organization have a clear understanding of, and accountability for, the work involved. Bolstering the upfront agreement, lessens the opportunity for misunderstandings resulting in contract extensions and associated costs.
Experts in SOW documents recommend that organizations involve whole teams because an effective SOW is a team effort, so get input from all team members who have a stake in the project.
In fact, it’s a good idea to have as many people as possible review the SOW and be prepared to update it as new information is discovered or becomes available.
It’s also important to remember that a SOW is not used to negotiate project guidelines. A SOW document is an agreement already reached between the two parties, or of the specifications already determined by the client.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers SOW Writing Workshop, a 1-day course where participants learn the best approaches to effectively write each part of the SOW.
You will learn to see the SOW from the contractor’s perspective and anticipate any questions he or she may have.
Additionally, participants learn best practices, analyze legal cases, and recognize the impact your work has on cost, schedule, and quality.
For more information, questions, comments, contact us.