5 Key Things To Include in Your Statement of Work

Project Management
5 Key Things To Include in Your Statement of Work
Hannah Hicklen

Written by

Hannah Hicklen

Updated on

March 20, 2024

Read time

7 mins read

When you collaborate with a service provider, you’re investing in a partner that will help you get the best results from your project. 

Outlining the details of your project ahead of time can help you find the right service provider and maintain structure throughout the engagement, so it’s important that you provide a detailed scope of work.

To get the most of your proposal, you need to include important details regarding the team, deliverables, and how you plan to communicate. 

  1. A detailed description of your project and deliverables
  2. Performance requirements
  3. A plan for communication
  4. A timeline, complete with milestones
  5. A budget that is broken down for each part of the project

Include these in your scope, and you’ll find the right partner for your project and set your team up for success. 

1. A Detailed Description of Your Project and Deliverables

As you get started on your project, it’s important that you and your partners agree on the deliverables and underlying goals. 

Deliverables are the quantifiable goods and services that a vendor provides. For a web development project, deliverables could include mock ups, landing pages, and certain features, while deliverables for a branding project would include logos, designs, and marketing collateral.  

To ensure that you get exactly what you want from your service provider, you need to create a detailed outline of your expectations in your scope of work. 

As you create a complete list of what your service provider will by accomplishing, consider your preferred materials, tools, systems, and products you want your team to use throughout the project. 

By including the features, services, and tech you need to accomplish your goals, your future partners will be able to provide you with a more accurate cost estimate and timeline. They will also be able to guide you and pick the right members for your team. 

2. Performance Requirements

In business, you’re not looking for the bare minimum. Rather, you need a solution that is going to be effective and meet all your needs. To ensure that the final deliverable is high-quality and meets your standards, you should outline your performance requirements.  

Performance requirements, unlike the product or service itself, describe the functionality, conditions, and quality that the final deliverable must meet in order for you to consider the engagement a success. 

For example, if you hire a web developer to build your new website, there are specific things you need in order for the site to work for your business. It should match your company’s brand, be easy to navigate, and have a user-friendly UX/UI. On top of that, you might need an administrative portal or an easy-to-edit backend. 

However, if your service provider delivers a website that isn’t easy for you to manage, the product doesn’t quite meet your performance requirements. 

To prevent you get a top-notch product or service, provide a detail description of your performance requirements. 

3. A Plan for Communication

Things can go wrong if you and a partner aren’t on the same page, which is why communication is key ingredient in any successful partnership. It’s important to note who will be in charge of providing updates and communicating between teams.

As you begin a new partnership, agreeing on how you plan to communicate progress, make changes, or ask questions, can streamline communication later on in the engagement. As a result, you will likely experience fewer miscommunications and disagreements.  

Since different teams have different collaborative styles, you should discuss how often you want to be updated and by whom. If you want to be more engaged, you could hold daily or weekly stand ups. If you want to be more hands-off, monthly reports might suit your needs better. 

On top of that, some companies may assign a project manager to the contract, or you could be dealing with the team directly. Each of these communication plans have their pros and cons. Project managers are easy to work with, but if you are dealing with a highly technical project, direct communication with the team can be beneficial. Either way, you need to determine a plan that works for you.  

As you outline the communication section of your scope of work, be sure to include your project lead’s contact information and outline how they should go about authorizations and approvals. 

4. A Timeline With Milestones

Timelines are critical because they hold vendors accountable for delivering products and service on time.  

However, establishing a timeline at the beginning of your relationship does more than keep your project on track. A schedule is like a roadmap for a lot of B2B service providers. As they go, they’re able to check off what they’ve accomplished and plan for what comes next. 

A calendar can also help vendors plan ahead so they can scale their team accordingly and bring in resources as needed. 

If you need a project completed with a tight turnaround, they may also require more manpower and have to bring additional people on the team to meet your goals. This, in turn, could increase the cost of your project. 

A good timeline notes key milestones and the tasks that are required to reach them. They also include the date they should be started, and when it will be completed. 

Source: HubSpot

This template does a good job outlining the description of the service and when each task will be completed. As a result, both partners know when to expect each deliverable. 

By detailing the what you need accomplished, and by when, you’ll ensure that you and your partners are on the same page throughout the partnership. 

5. A Budget That Is Broken Down for Each Part of the Project

While you need include your overall budget in your scope, you should also break down how much you expect to spend on each piece of the project. 

In the timeline template featured above, they did a good job outlining how much the project would cost by associating a dollar amount with each individual task. 

Several factors go into determining how much a project will cost, such as the number of people on the team, how much time it takes to complete the project, and the types of technology you plan to use. So, the more specific you are in your scope of work, the more accurate your cost estimate will be. 

Once you’ve outlined the project sufficiently in your project description, do some preliminary research to determine how much everything should cost to make sure the estimate your service provider is quoting you is comparable to the market.

Include Important Details in Your Scope of Work

A scope of work is important for finding the right partner, keeping your project on track, and ensuring you get the results you need. 

To get the best results from an engagement, you need to note key details ahead of time, including a thorough description of all deliverables and your performance requirements. Communicating with your service provider will be key to building a strong partnership. 

By maintaining a schedule with the start and end dates of each task, and how much each phase of the project will cost, you and your partners will stay on the same page throughout your engagement.  

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Hannah Hicklen

Hannah Hicklen

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