When you are handling a project in your business it will be crucial that you are able to prepare the right documents. One of the most important documents is the SOW. In this article, we’re going to provide crucial information about what an SOW is, why it’s important and how to ensure that you are writing and preparing it the right way.
What Is SOW In business
A SOW is a term that refers to the scope of work in project management. With this document, the contracting officer or potentially a chief procurement officer will specify the deliverables and objectives of a particular service contract or project. This will often be included a section of the request for proposal. This is a document which will be used to solicit sealed bids from service providers as well as vendors.
Using a SOW service providers as well as contractors will use the information included. They will then determine whether they are able to meet the objectives as well as the deliverables on a project. After taking this into consideration, they will then consider whether or not to move forward with a proposal.
If a SOW is handled correctly it will greatly diminish misunderstanding and risk in a business. It can also provide key talking points and ensure that customers and contractors are able to enter into an agreement which will be legally binding. This will only occur if the two agree to work together.
A SOW tends to be created after contract negotiations have finished but before work begins on a particular project. However, it is possible that for time-sensitive projects, negotiations will continue. If that’s the case then a SOW will not be fully finalised until work has begun.
You should also not assume that every SOW is going to be the same. There are various different types of SOW depending on the industry and project that you are working on. Each has separate deliverables and a specific workflow.
Ideally, you should also make sure that you try and get the SOW right the first time you write it. If you fail to do this, then there will need for Change Orders and this can increase the cost of a project.
How To Write A Sow
The first step when writing a SOW is to make sure that you are including the objective. This provides an overview of the project as well as the different objectives. You need to avoid language here that can be interpreted in different ways. It should be as clear as possible.
You then need to write a full discussion of the scope. Think about the assumptions as well as the deliverables. You also need to consider each of these items in terms of both time tracking as well as different communications.
If relevant you need to make sure that you are writing about the location as well as the potential time frame that is going to be apparent or relevant. Within the time frame, you should be working to ensure that you are including a schedule. This should include all tasks and be comprehensive as well as completely straightforward. It must be easy to understand.
Make sure that you also include a section of acceptance so that parties know how it will be determined whether or not a product is acceptable. There should also be specified standards. This includes standards that need to be in place to fulfill the contract. You should also include workforce requirements and the price as well as assumptions.
Many projects will have a variety of unknown factors. Here parties are going to need to make assumptions. Essentially, these are the conditions that are expected to exist within the terms of the SOW. Ideally, a SOW should be identifying as many of the assumptions as possible. This should also cover a contingency plan if the assumptions fail.
Remember, there are certain considerations that you must keep in mind when you are writing a SOW. For instance, it’s crucial that it does have explicit details that are clear to understand. You also want to make sure that you are showing processes with visuals instead of simply attempting to explain it. With visualisation, you can make sure that goals are indeed understood.
Finally, it’s worth noting that a SOW is only a plan and perhaps best described as a list of educated estimates. As such, you do need to make sure that the timeline for your deliverables has space for changes in priorities and reviews.
We hope this helps you understand everything you need to know about writing a scope of work.