Scope of Work and Deliverables Agreement

What are Deliverables in a Scope of Work?

When working with people outside your organisation, it's all too easy for misunderstandings or assumptions to knock a project off track. That's why a scope of work is important. An SoW acts as a road map for completing any kind of project.

What Is Scope of Work (SoW)?

Scope of work document is an agreement that specifies the work you’ll undertake on the project. It’s a step-by-step guide to finishing practically any project, from a website revamp to the development of a new app or feature. Deliverables, a timeframe, milestones, and reports are all part of a scope of work and deliverables. Let’s take a deeper look at each of these elements.

Deliverables in Scope of Work

Deliverables are the reason you’re executing the project for your customer, stakeholder, or sponsor, whether it’s a product or a service. Whatever the deliverable is, and it may be a document or report, software, a product, or a build (or all of the above), you must clearly identify each item here. This stage can be simplified by creating a work breakdown framework.

Timeline 

Consider a timeline to be a road that runs from the beginning to the end of a project. It’s a section of the document that breaks out the project’s major phases over the course of its duration. It should also indicate when your deliverables are ready at various points throughout the project. As you might expect, sketching out the broad plan of any project is critical.

Milestones

Projects can be lengthy and complex, which is why they’re organized on a calendar and divided down into manageable parts known as tasks. A milestone is a term used to describe the end of a project’s larger phases. It’s a technique to keep track of the project’s development and make sure it’s on track to meet your deadline.

Reports

Throughout the project, you’ll be generating reports and delivering them to your team, customer, stakeholder, or sponsor. Status reports, progress reports, variance reports, and other reports are examples. They’re a formal record of your project’s progress, but they’re also a way of communicating beyond whether or not the project is on track. There’s a lot of data that can serve a variety of audiences depending on how you customize them. Define how you’ll report on the project, as well as when and from whom the stakeholders may expect it.

Five Must have Techniques for Effective SoWs

Explicit Details

If it isn’t on the SoW, don’t expect it to be completed. This involves factoring in assumptions about effort, time, and resources.

Visualizations

Rather than trying to explain what you’re talking about, illustrate it. Visualisations, images, and examples can help you explain your objectives and requirements.

Definitions for Any Terminology

“Thou shalt not assume,” says the golden rule of SoW. Make sure that any business terminology, phrases, or acronyms in your SOW are defined.

Time for Reviews

An SoW is a plan. Plans, at their best, are nothing more than informed guesses. Make sure you provide time in your project schedule and deliverable timetable for reviews, pivots, and unanticipated changes in priorities.

Success Definitions

The most important aspect of a successful SoW is that both parties agree on what success looks like. Rewrite it if you’re not sure what you want to achieve at the end.

Conclusion

An SoW is a strong tool for keeping everyone accountable and on track, whether you’re building a new product from scratch, going through a redesign, or just doing some illustration work. It may appear that there is a lot of work to be done upfront, but the more you can clarify, the smoother the rest of the job will go.

However, there are a few additional bits of guidance that might help differentiate between a successful SOW and one that falls short:

  1. Keep It Short: It’s important to pay attention to detail, but don’t go overboard. Writing a 30-page SOW will undoubtedly require your contractor to spend time going over it line-by-line, slowing down the process and costing them money. The more bizarre your exclusions, clauses, and exceptions are, the longer it will take them to complete them and the more disturbed they will be.
  2. Write in the Earlier Stages of a Project: It’s never too early to begin drafting a statement of work. Starting early allows the document to evolve in parallel with your understanding of the project and your requirements.
  3. Involve Others: If you don’t have the expertise to write certain sections, get the support of others. If you’re unsure how to define the requirements and infrastructure precisely, you may need to hire a technical writer.
  4. Make It Clear What the Project Does Not Include: As requirements can be vague sometimes, it’s important to know which paths to avoid as well as which ones to take. That concludes the topic. This should help you put together a complete and clear SOW and deliverables that will keep everyone on track and accountable, whether you’re hiring an agency to help you build a new app or renovate your house.

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