Related Statement of Work Documents to Conceder
There are certain project documents you may encounter that are similar to an SOW, but are distinct in several ways. The document types listed below focus primarily on big-picture issues, such as the project goals and the desired end results. For example, a Project Charter is meant to accompany, rather than replace, a Statement of Work. However, the latter of the two documents may be used in place of an SOW in government contracts.
Related documents include:
- Project Charter: A high-level document that outlines preliminary roles, responsibilities, guidelines, and objectives for a project. It designates a project manager and the main stakeholders and authorizes a project to begin. The project charter is often created after the SOW is agreed upon.
- Statement of Objectives (SOO): This is a government document closely related to an SOW. The SOO lays out high-level performance outcomes and objectives for government procurement, and typically accompanies an RFP. It focuses on the outcomes rather than on how the work is to be done.
- Performance Work Statement (PWS): Another government document that focuses heavily on results. Like the SOO, the PWS describes high-level outcomes, but it also outlines measureable results and performance objectives
In brief, the main difference is that the SOW provides clear, specific direction for how the work should be done on a project, while the SOO and the PWS simply describe the desired outcomes. The Project Charter is also high-level but incorporates goals and expectations in addition to outcomes. Many government entities prefer using an SOO or a PWS, because these documents allow more flexibility in how contractors approach a project.
An SOW, on the other hand, should be used when the nature of the work is already known and can be described in detail. It may also be used when the government agency or organization procuring the work has specific instructions or guidelines for contractors or suppliers to follow.
Statement of Work vs. Scope of Work
So what’s the difference between the statement of work and the scope of work? The scope of work is just one section of the statement of work. While the SOW is a comprehensive document that details the project’s goals, guidelines, deliverables, schedule, costs and more, the scope section focuses on how those goals will be met.
There are clear benefits to outlining the project scope. “Having a solid understanding of the scope of the project helps all parties involved avoid scope creep,” say many prominent program managers. Scope creep is when the scope of a project grows or changes in an uncontrolled and undefined way.
The scope section of the SOW describes project outcomes and the type of work that will be done to achieve them. For example, if the project was to build a software system, the scope would describe the hardware and software that will be part of that system. It would also give a high-level overview of the steps involved in building and implementing the system.
Challenges of Writing a Statement of Work
There are a few common challenges that may be faced when writing an SOW.
- Complexity. An SOW can be a complex document. They are unique to each new contract agreement a client and contractor enter into. SOW’s can vary widely depending on type of work required, the project duration, specific industry, and the payment model that will be used.
- Risks of an incorrect SOW. An SOW is a document with legal weight, which is used in the contract creation and management process. As a result, there are real legal, financial, and operational risks for an organization that writes an SOW improperly. For example, if the client is unclear in their specifications, which causes the contractor to perform the work improperly, a legal battle could ensue over which party is responsible for correcting the mistakes—and both parties’ reputations could be at risk. For this reason, a good professional site development firm, one well versed in SOW’s such as C&C Site Development, Inc may be a cost saver in the long run in more ways than one.
- Time commitment. Writing an effective SOW can be a time-consuming process. Due to the risks involved, you don’t want to rush it or take any shortcuts. Using a professional site development firm like C&C Site Development, Inc will save the learning curve involved in proper formatting and inclusion of an SOW. In fact the whole process can be transparent to you as it becomes a function of the Site Development firm, if you so desire.
- Expertise. If you don’t have the knowledge and experience to write an SOW, it can be hard to find qualified writers who understand all the guidelines and requirements. The SOW is typically written by larger clients, but authors may vary, and more than one author may participate. This may include anyone from the project manager to a third-party.
C&C Site Development, Inc can help with all aspects of SOW’s as well as SOO, RFP or any other contracts and bid offerings that may be needed. Give us a call to discuss your next project, you will discover a Florida firm, qualified, licensed and ready to serve all you Site Development needs based right here in Central Florida. No project is too large, but we can help with the smaller ones as well, call us today: 407-688-2657