What is a Statement of work: definition, contents, and tips

A statement of work (SoW) is a project document that lays out project requirements, terms, timelines, contractors, etc. It’s a detailed, high-level plan that helps set expectations for budgeting, resource needs, timing, and other important factors. Statements of work are not always necessarily a contract, but the two can be combined.

The statement of work contents

Statement of work covers every aspect of the project. Such thoroughness pays off later as the project progresses and you need to solve disputes or simply need guidance on what needs to be done next and how. 

Your SoW can differ, but generally there are some important sections your statement of work must have:

  1. High-detail description of the project
    This should be a highly detailed, overarching view of what the project is. Explain what needs to be done and who will be doing it.

  2. Objectives
    Laying out objectives is a big part of a SoW. Base objectives on the overall assignment purpose, the expected outcomes, and how you plan to get there. These should be well detailed, exact objectives, not vague plans. The more specific you are in your statement of work, the easier it will be to reach those objectives as you work towards them.

  3. Planned end results
    Planned end results are technically a part of your objectives, but they’re worth noting separately, as it is always going to be a big deal for the client to know what they can expect at the end of the project. Being able to very thoroughly and expressly explain what you plan to deliver is very important for the workflow, client’s peace of mind, and the solution of any potential disputes.

  4. Project costs and budget
    Provide detailed costs of every process outlined in the statement of work, as well as the overall budget estimates. This includes the rates and fees of any contracting companies. Note when and how the payment will be delivered.

  5. Timelines, deadlines, and milestones
    Define all process timelines and deadlines, as well as major project milestones. This will help project managers track the progress, and defining specific milestones will help present the project plan in a comprehensive, understandable way, breaking the main schedule into separate trackable phases. Once again, the more specific you get, the better.

  6. Responsibilities
    SoW should specify who is responsible for which part of the project or a task. This will help in disputes over results or delays.

  7. Quality standards
    Everyone wants quality work. However, you must always define which quality of work is expected and how it will be defined. Putting in your statement of work that you have self-imposed quality standards sets a professional tone and gives you a chance to shine by meeting them. However, if the project requires an independent quality check at the end of the project, note it in the statement of work, along with who will perform the quality check, how, its costs, the time it will take, etc.

  8. Inside and outside scope
    A statement of work always defines what the project will entail, but it is just as important to make clear what you will not be doing, or what is outside of your scope. Construction contractors are experts at this: they do the work agreed upon and nothing more, no matter what they run into, at least not until they have made a new statement of work or contract with their client. It is not a matter of being stingy or lazy, it keeps the project on task and makes sure the client is on board with paying for extra services.

  9. Ongoing support
    For some projects, ongoing support is not necessary, but when it is, it is important to give the client a plan for how this support will be provided. Depending on your business, support could be a million different things, so create a clear outline in the SoW of what will be included in these support services, for how long, and at what price.

These are just some of the elements of the standard statement of work. It can also contain an outline of locations, testing conditions, certifications, security requirements, working hours, how the project will be accepted, and more. It is recommended to use a statement of work template to make sure you don’t forget any of the hundreds of details that can be outlined in a SoW.

How to make a statement of work official

Once you finish writing up your statement of work, you have to get it signed off by the client. This will help create the management of expectations on both sides. Having both you and the client in agreement over the statement of work, which is arguably the most detailed project document, makes for a smooth project. Upon signing you will have official authority to begin the project.

Sticking to your statement of work is not always easy and there are often roadblocks, but it is a hugely important part of working under contract with another company. Having everyone on the same page and having a well-timed plan will help prevent misunderstandings, disputes, and conflicts as the project progresses. 

Take your business to a higher league
Find more leads and accelerate conversions with Snov.io, an all-in-one toolbox for B2B sales.

No credit card required

footer-people.png

Become one of our successful clients

With over 100,000 thriving companies on board, Snov.io continues helping businesses grow. Here's what our users say about their experience.

testimonial

"Our sales revenue has grown by 18% since we started using Snov.io"

Joey Mallat

testimonial

"With Snov.io we discovered new ways of lead generation."

Ramzi Barkat

testimonial

"With Snov.io our response rate has grown 900%."

Fatma Ezzahra Amrani

testimonial

"With Snov.io in just one week we sent out 500 emails with an incredible 86% open rate that led to 177 scheduled interviews. "

Ross Nazarenko

testimonial

"Snov.io helped us collect more than 80,000 leads in a month, accelerating our search for emails while reducing the cost per lead. "

Dmitry Chervonyi

testimonial

"We needed something that would help us automate, send emails just in time, yet feel personalized and human. We started looking for a solution, and we found Snov.io. "

Sofiia Shvets

testimonial

"Snov.io’s Email Finder reduced the time it took us to find email addresses by almost 50% and the lead generation efforts by 20%. "

Jaswant Singh

testimonial

"We managed to collect 35,000+ emails, including elusive leads from companies we could never reach out to before. "

Aleksandr Usoltsev

testimonial

"One of our clients got 23 email meetings scheduled from just 117 emails sent with Snov.io. "

Deepak Shukla

testimonial

"We needed an additional contact channel, and discovering Snov.io has allowed us to boost our conversion rate, both contact-to-reply and contact-to-call. "

Kirill Rozhkovskiy

testimonial

"The open rate for the emails sent to leads collected and verified with Snov.io tools went from 25% to 73% in just one month, which resulted in 95 business meetings with potential customers. "

Ricard Colom