Statements of Work – What type of thing should go in?

When you are putting together a team to deliver a project sometimes you may have to take on people under a ‘statement of work’.  The ‘Statement of Work’ should reflect what you want the individual to achieve during their time on the project.  The Statement of Work should be detailed and succinct, but you can find a good starting point with the headings below:

  • Purpose: Why are we doing this project? This is the question that the purpose statement attempts to answer.
  • Scope of Work: This describes roughly the work that must be done in detail and specifies the hardware and software involved and the exact nature of the work to be done.
  • Location of Work: This describes where the work must be performed. This also specifies the location of hardware and software and where people will meet to perform the work.
  • Period of Performance: This specifies the allowable time for projects, such as start and finish time, number of hours that can be billed per week or month, where work is to be performed and anything else that relates to scheduling.
  • Deliverables Schedule: This part lists the specific deliverables, describing what is due and when.
  • Applicable Standards: This describes any industry specific standards that need to be adhered to in fulfilling the contract.
  • Acceptance Criteria: This specifies how the buyer or receiver of goods will determine if the product or service is acceptable, what objective criteria will be used to state the work is acceptable. See Acceptance testing
  • Special Requirements: This specifies any special hardware or software, specialized workforce requirements, such as degrees or certifications for personnel, travel requirements, and anything else not covered in the contract specifics.
  • Type of Contract/Payment Schedule: The project acceptance will depend on if the budget available will be enough to cover the work required. Therefore payments breakdown whether up front or phased will be negotiated very early at this stage.
  • Miscellaneous: There are many items that do not form part of the main negotiations but are nonetheless very important to the project. They seem minor but being overlooked or forgotten could pose problems for the project.

Of course, if you are writing a Statement of Work you should always take professional advice to ensure you have covered everything, and this post shouldn’t be taken as a definitive guide.


Published by

Adam Scoot

After the consultancy, its all about the agile, a little bit of scrum and delivery. Other than that; Ski hard, Ski fast or go home.

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