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Top tips for an SoW

November 7, 2017

Statements of work, scopes of work – the growth of services contracting means they are becoming steadily more important. And we know from IACCM research that disagreements over scope are the most common source of claims and disputes – so getting them right is important.

IACCM has produced a short podcast, available in the Member Library, with suggestions on how to improve the quality of an SoW. It builds from this checklist of ‘ten tips’.

  1. Understand whether it’s a Statement of Work or a Scope of Work – or a combination of both
  2. What contracting/commercial model should you use and how does this impact the SoW? (Hardware, software, SaaS? GaaS? Performance-based? Outcome-based?
  3. Be clear about what your RACI is around your SOW. Is there clarity over who will draft the SOW and their competence to do it?
  4. Be clear what is in and out of scope
  5. Ensure thorough understanding of requirements (too many SoWs are fundamentally flawed by incomplete or imprecise proper requirements analysis – and a tendency to suppress or ignore inconvenient requirements)
  6. Validate the capabilities of both sides (can the requirements be met?): who is best equipped to do what? Is the scope realistic? Cost and risk efficient?
  7. Ensure adequate review of the draft SOW (stakeholders)
  8. What is the likelihood of change and how will it be managed?
  9. What are the roles and responsibilities in ongoing implementation – obligation extraction and management
  10. Think about setting milestones, and whether the SOW might need redefinition when a particular milestone is reached – do you need an agile approach?


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