The Statement of Work (SOW) is a document, which describes the scope of work required to complete a specific project. It is a formal document and must be agreed upon by all parties involved.
In order to be effective, the SOW must contain an appropriate level of detail so all parties clearly understand what work is required, the duration of the work involved, what the deliverables are, and what is acceptable.
Writing a good Statement of Work. What goes into a good SOW (Statement of Work)?
In this post there is a basic outline of the structure of a good SOW. In addition there are some real world examples and templates that you can use right away of SOWs that you can use for either a project or consulting engagement
• Reference information (client name etc)
• Scope of the project or piece of work, linking back to the customer’s business objective
• Work to be done or work packages
• What that is not in scope
• Terms and conditions
Get these included in the SOW and you have a solid foundation for a good commercial engagement and then the delivery teams can get on with execution and the account management team does not have to spend all of their time checking what was in the contract or SOW.
Example #1 : Table of contents template for an ICT Project
Below is a detailed example of a table of contents that could be used to structure a statement of work for an ICT project.
• Executive Summary Overview
• Agreement Term
• Solution Overview
• Other Non-Functional aspects of the Solution
• Delivery Approach
• Delivery and installation of Software.
• Lab and Production Environment Install and Configuration
• Project Deliverables
• Commercial Proposal
• Customer Responsibilities
• Project Management
• Project Escalation Path
• Communications management.
• Project Schedule
• Pricing - Fixed Price Services.
• Pricing – Payment Milestone
Example #2: Table of contents template for a Consulting project
1. SOW for XXX Project
1.1. RELATED DOCUMENTS
2. TERM AND TERMINATION
3.2. Deliverables & Activities
3.3. Professional Services
3.4. Out of Scope Deliverables
3.5. Warranty Period
5. CUSTOMER REQUIREMENTs
6. Assumptions and dependencies
7. ACCEPTANCE TEST PLAN
8. License Term
9. Project Management Services
9.1. Project Managers
9.2. Steering committee
9.3. Project team
9.4. Other resources
9.5. Key positions
9.6. Project management methodologies
10. CONTRACT MILESTONES
10.1. Contract Milestone descriptions
10.2. Liquidated damages
Example #3- Table of content template for an ICT project
3 PROJECT DESCRIPTION
4 SCOPE DEFINITION
4.1 IN SCOPE
4.2 OUT OF SCOPE
4.3 SCOPE CHANGE
5 ASSUMPTIONS, CONSTRAINTS AND DEPENDENCIES
6 PROJECT RISKS
7 PROJECT SCHEDULE
9 DELIVERABLE TOOLS DEFINITION
10 ACCEPTANCE AND ACCEPTANCE CRITERIA
10.1 ACCEPTANCE PROCESS FOR FIXED PRICE DELIVERABLES
10.1.1 Custom Software Acceptance
10.1.2 Acceptance Testing Procedure
10.1.3 Document Acceptance
10.2 ACCEPTANCE CRITERIA FOR T & M DELIVERABLES
11 CUSTOMER NAME RESPONSIBILITIES
11.1 DECISION POINTS AND PROCESS
12 MATERIALS, EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES
12.1 BASELINE ENVIRONMENT
12.2 PROVIDED BY CUSTOMER NAME
12.3 PROVIDED BY SUPPLIER
12.4 PROVIDED BY THIRD PARTY
13 PROJECT ORGANISATION STRUCTURE
13.1 PROJECT TEAM ORGANISATION STRUCTURE
13.2 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
14 PROJECT COMMUNICATION
14.1 COMMUNICATION MATRIX
14.2 COMMUNICATION PLAN
14.3 STATUS MEETINGS
14.4 STATUS REPORTING
14.5 PROJECT ESCALATION PROCESS
15 PRICE AND PAYMENT
15.1 FIXED PRICE
15.2 TIME AND MATERIALS: DAILY RATE
15.3 TIME AND MATERIALS: HOURLY RATE
15.4 TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATION EXPENSES
16 STATEMENT OF WORK APPROVAL
1. Has the Statement of Work (SOW) be signed by both the customer and the supplier?
2. Has the project scope been documented, reviewed and signed off by the customer in the SOW and does the SOW include payment milestones and the customer's responsibilities. For example the customer may be responsible to provide some project resources.
3. Have the assumptions, exclusions and dependencies been documented in the SOW?
4. Have all external dependencies and constraints been documented in the SOW and included in the Project Management Plan?
5. Are all deliverables clearly described and identified, with measurable acceptance criteria and, signed off by the customer? Acceptance of deliverables is very important and the statement of work should define for each deliverable what will be the acceptance criteria. For example detailed design might be accepted by signing off the detailed design document after 2 review cycles. Testing might be accepted after the test report is produced showing that there are no outstanding severity 1 or 2 test defects.
6. If the project includes migrations of data or applications, have they been scoped, priced and planned?
7. Has a commercial model been prepared that is in line with the project schedule and covering all project costs.
8. Are signed purchase orders in place between the supplier and the Customer, and the supplier and subcontractors, and are all authorised changes covered by a signed purchase order?
9. Are contracts with other suppliers documented?