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Experts in this field agree: The Statement of Work (SOW) governing projects is the foundation for a successful outcome.

A draft SOW  is expected to be included in a proposal to frame the initial conversation between a client and a consultancy. Essentially, an effective SOW says:

You, the client, have these goals and needs, we, the consultancy propose to meet them by performing the outlined work

If the client need in the RFP (request for proposal) is well-defined, these draft SOWs can be concise and fairly short.  If the client’s needs are more complex, such as discovery research, or UX strategy work, presenting them with several potential options can help them choose the type of engagement that best meets their stakeholder needs.

One very important area of SOW writing that often needs polishing is the “assumptions” arena. Assumptions are expected in a SOW.  But it’s critical to understand that not every program member or enterprise stakeholder realizes assumptions need to be appreciated and understood for the important role they play within the SOW and in the execution of the program.

Assumptions should not be perceived as only one-sided, unless you choose to concede your position of responsibility. 

Assumptions should be leveraged for additional clarity and transparency in all facets of the program.  The Assumptions section in a SOW provides what assumptions both parties agree to in order for the work to be performed.Your first takeaway should be that “both parties agree.”

There are many things that contribute to the number of assumptions.  Consider a program scope that includes expected functionality, technical architecture, timeline, statutory requirements, and more than one party involved in delivering the solution.

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.

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