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A well-written statement of work (SOW) may help to minimise misunderstandings between a customer and a vendor. Discover what information this document often contains and how it might benefit your project.

statement of work

A statement of work (SOW or SoW) is a particular sort of contract that gives substantial information about the work to be accomplished. It is often used in the project management profession. The goal of a SOW is to explicitly define the project specifics so that all parties understand the expectations and the metric for success in reaching those expectations.

Conflicts between the contract manager and the customer may be avoided with a well-written, thorough statement of work. The document is also occasionally referred to as a scope of work, while it is more customary to refer to the document as a statement of work and use the term scope of work to describe the document’s content.

Creating a Statement of Work

The project manager, who is typically in the greatest position to grasp the nature of the job to be completed, will frequently produce a statement of work. Following the conclusion of talks with the customer, the project manager writes the SOW, which serves as the final agreement.

The customer may also write a statement of work and submit it as part of the request for bid (RFP). Even though the RFP contains a statement of work, there may be some wiggle room before settling on a final statement of work. A master service agreement, which is more generic and may be used for two or more projects, each with its own description of work, may also exist.

Work Content and Format Statement

While the specific elements of a statement of work vary depending on the nature of the project and the client’s expectations, it often includes the following categories of information:

The goal of the project. This is a broad statement of the project’s main goal.

The scope of the project. A description of the product to be made or the services to be provided should contain what is included in the task as well as what is not.

Where the work will be done Depending on the nature of the work and the project, it may be executed at the vendor’s location or at the client’s location.

The time frame for starting and finishing the project. This may also be divided into a timeframe for completing specific project milestones.

The price and payment arrangements. A payment schedule and how the payment is to be paid may also be included in such a provision.

The industry standards that will be followed in order to complete the task. For example, a software development project may be needed to adhere to American National Standards Institute (ANS) standards, or a building construction project may be required to adhere to certain building and safety requirements.

The criteria that will be used by the customer to assess if the output is acceptable. For example, if the project is to create a new website, the criteria may include a specific percentage increase in website visits as well as a certain percentage rise in transactions.

The customer may provide the format for the statement of work, or the vendor may design it.

You may use a statement of work or a similar document called a statement of objectives (SOO) or performance work statement if you are getting into a contract with the United States government (PWS). The name used is determined by the government agency in charge of the project.