An SOW is often referred to as a scope of work or statement of work. This is a document that can help you and your clients understand the scope of the work you are doing for them. It can help avoid any misunderstandings about what you will do for them. It is essentially a contract that helps define what you will do for your audience and what you will deliver to them exactly.
It Aligns with Your Expectations
The SOW should align equally with your expectations and your clients’ expectations. During the creation of this document, you should both ask questions and edit it as you go to ensure that it states what you both want it to state. You need to both understand what the project is.
Helps You Remember the Details
The SOW will detail the issues around the deliverables and even the entire process. It’ll state the price, the timeline when you’ll invoice when you give them the work, what the work will look like, and every single detail about the project including everyone’s individual responsibilities.
Includes the Scope of Work
When you create the SOW, you’ll want to think both about the “statement of work” and the “scope of the work” because all of it should be in the document. You need to define the extent of the work that you’ll be doing so that you can both look back at the document. You should use it like you used a rubric in school – check it to ensure you’ve met all the criteria listed before turning it into your client.
Spells Out Responsibilities
When you have a good SOW, you’ll never again wonder why you’re doing that project, what you are supposed to deliver, and who has approval. You’ll know exactly how the project will be approached, which phase you’re in when invoices are sent, and everything from cost to deliverable to what happens later is included.
Saves You from Misunderstandings
The SOW will save you and your client from serious misunderstandings. This is something both of you should take part in creating and signing to ensure that it is what you both want to do. Anytime you’re not sure you can point back to that document. If your client has a question, you can point them to that document.
It might seem like extra work to create a statement of work, but it will save you problems and work later. When everyone is on the same page about what is supposed to be done, why it’s being done, who it’s being done for and what it should look like it’s harder to make mistakes. Plus, it streamlines the work you know you need to do each day.
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