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A guide to writing a statement of work

A Statement of Work (SOW) is a document that defines the different tasks to be performed and specific services to be delivered by the selected contractor within a specific time-line. A well-defined SOW helps to manage contracts by minimising risks. Here is a guide to writing a SOW.

How to write a Statement of Writing

1. Describe the requirement: What is being purchased, who is the seller, what is the contracting mechanism, etc. 2. Write the background that led to the contracting of services. Include what led to the demand, what is the specific product or service, and the nature of the requirement (recurring, one-time). 3. Objective: Define the objective – what is sought to be achieved. 4. Estimated value of the contract: This is the value that the contractor will receive on successful completion of the contract or based on milestones. It is an estimated value that can be subject to change depending on other factors carried in the statement. 5. Scope of works : This details the exact work that has to be done, the hardware, manpower, skills and software required to achieve results. 6. Location: Describes the place where the work must be performed. It includes locations where hardware, software and people will be deployed. 7. Time-line: This clause lays down the time allowed per activity. It should include start and finish time per activity and specify how the time-line can be built into the bill. It also contains other scheduling details. 8. Deliverables: Specifies the exact deliverables or outcomes and the date when they are expected to be delivered. 9. Compliance with industry standards: This clause specifies industry standards and processes that the contractor must comply with. 10. Acceptance of goods and services: This specifies the criteria that will be used to judge whether the goods are acceptable or not. 11. Special requirements: If it is estimated that any special equipment or skills or travel will be required at some point, then such special requirements must be spelt out in this section. 12. Payment: Payments can be made based on deliverables, or based on a time-line, or otherwise based on other factors depending on the nature of the work. This clause details how and when and how much payments will be made. 13. Other factors: There may be factors that do not seem as connected to the main contract but are equally important. For example, the rains can delay a contract. All such miscellaneous factors must be included here.

Summing up

A Statement of Work needs detailed writing work and the writer must seek inputs from all concerned departments to understand the operational, financial, technical and contractual requirements. Writers must also refer to SOW templates available online.

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