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What Should I Include In My Scope Of Work (SOW)?

What Should I Include In My Scope Of Work (SOW)?

Is your business undertaking a large collaborative project? A Scope of Work (SOW) will assist you in ensuring the project runs smoothly.

24th July 2019

As your company grows, you will find your business involved in collaborative projects with other organisations and individuals. The number of people and multiple tasks involved in such projects can sometimes lead to communication issues, which can then lead to the project not being completed properly. This is where a Scope of Work agreement comes into play. A 0scope of work is a legally binding agreement that outlines the work to be performed along with schedules and expected outcomes. A Statement of Work usually contains the Scope of Work of a project.

Components Of A Scope Of Work

The agreement usually includes deliverables, timeline, milestones, reports and expected outcomes.

Deliverables

This is what your project delivers to your client, stakeholder or sponsor. Deliverables can be in the form of a document, report, software, product or all of the above. Hence, the type of deliverable expected should be explicitly identified in the SOW.

Timeline

The SOW should include an outline of the major phases involved across the expected timeframe of the project, in particular, the key points in the schedule where the deliverables are due.

Milestones

Milestones are smaller, manageable parts of complex projects. They act as a threshold where the project transitions to the next phase. Thus, milestones of a project allow parties to monitor the progress of the project and ensure it is adhering to the agreed schedule.

Reports

Reports are formal records constantly generated throughout the project. These reports are often customised based on their target audience.

Template Of A Scope Of Work

A Scope of Work is a detailed agreement that the parties collaborating would be referring throughout the project. Therefore, an effective SOW should include the following specific information:

Glossary

A glossary includes all the acronyms and definitions used in the SOW. In other words, the glossary should contain basic terms for the document to be understood by a third party.

Problem Statement

This statement describes the main issues you face in this project and what you are hoping to achieve.

Goals of the Agreement

This includes a brief description of the goal and an overview of how to achieve them.

Objectives of the Agreement / Deliverables

This section outlines things measurable at the end of the project, along with the expected end products. The objectives should be measurable, and the deliverable must be quantifiable. A SOW can contain many deliverables, but each one should be accompanied by a task to specify what end products are expected from a particular task. This section will also cover who specifically undertakes the work for each specific task. For instance, the Scope of Work in a Contractor Agreement would provide details of the contractor entrusted to deliver a particular deliverable.

Administration

The administration element in the SOW outlines any soft deliverables expected from the performing party. For example, meetings, calls and conferences. This section also covers any requirement that is not an end product of a specific task.

Payment Information 

The section outlines the cost involved and means of payment at the end of the project.

Timeline

This section outlines the key dates for the project, in particular, the dates for all deliverables, tasks and administrative requirements of the SOW.

In other words, the Scope of Work is primarily used for collaborative projects, and therefore, each element of the Scope of Work should be clear and easy to understand. There should be no ambiguity for either party, and the agreement must set detailed tasks, milestones and deliverables. Regardless of whether your project involves building new software or renovating a building, a Scope of Work is a powerful tool that will keep everyone involved accountable.

Besides, If you are unsure about this process or are facing any setbacks regarding your Scope of Work, I would recommend consulting one of our contract lawyers for advice.

Don’t know where to start? Contact us on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest lawyer marketplace.

Author
Anjaly Tessa Saji

Anjaly is working in our Content Team as a Legal Tech Intern. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Science at Macquarie University. She has a particular interest in Intellectual Property Law, Employment Law, and exploring how technology can improve access to justice.