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Statement of Work (SOW)

Basic guidelines to ellaborate a Statement of Work


Statement of Work (SOW)

The Statement of work, sometimes called the scope of work, can do a great construction contract even better. A well written statement of work must be clear, complete, logical and concise enough to be understood by the contractor and the construction manager that will be providing the administrative portion of the contract. The SOW must describe in details the expected performance of the contractor, converting it into a measuring tool for the construction manager. A Statement of work must be prepared with help from corresponding departments and professionals that will eventually will take part of the developing and construction process. For example, a scope work for a drywall contractor, will include, types of interior finishes required, designs, material needed, prices and budget, the deadline, special requirements, etc.

Statement of Work Wording

A statement of work wording is vital and must be clear to reduce claims, litigation and other related problems. A statement of work is the preferred method used in the construction industry to even get construction financing and will be the base for your construction insurance company when providing the proper bonding. A nice statement of work should avoid arguable or ambiguous phrasing and must identify the project deliverable and its objectives. Special emphasis should be given to the statement of work wording to avoid or make impossible two different interpretations of the same SOW. If an action is mandatory, the statement of work wording will contain the words shall or must. A contractor that receives a statement of work that is unclear, might refrain from participating in the bidding process. The statement of work should avoid including cost of products or services that a contractor may claim they were supposed to furnish or provide.

Statement of Work Basic Components

A statement of work should have the following components:

  • Project Overview- A brief statement describing the business needs and a short summary of the project description.

  • Project Deliverables- This section should include all the expected goals and targets that must be achieved through the project. It must include all related information that will help a contractor in understanding the project's requirement.

  • Project Scope – This section of the statement of work should contain, in terms of budget and technical data, the quantifiable goals set forth under the construction contract, Is an essential part of the SOW. Statement of work scopes might divide the document in two parts:

a. Technical considerations - Specific technical or methodologies relevant to the contractor's performance.

b. Tasks – Specific requests and tasks that are needed to satisfy project objectives.

  • Project Schedule- Summarize the project schedule including all related task so the contractor can deliver on time. This section of the statement of work (sow) should contain all important delivery dates, time restrictions and the expected project duration.

  • Project Management- The management section of the SOW must contain a description of how payments will be issued, change control process, specific contract and legal requirements, phasing or stages of the project and the project's limitations.

Statement of Work Accuracy

Follow these guidelines to determine if you are preparing or receiving a complete Scope of Work (SOW):

  • The SOW identifies the contractor's responsibilities.

  • Provides precisely contract objective and project requirements.

  • The SOW provides enough details to estimate labor costs.

  • Includes a contracting method and the payment schedule.

  • The Statement of Work has only one interpretation.

  • The SOW explains standards, regulation and special contract requirements.

  • The Statement of Work presents in a clearly manner all related task, duties and limitations to obtain expected results according with the project goal.

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  6. How to Elaborate a Statement of Work (SOW)

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