wondering how to start writing an SOW?read our SOW journey
Imagine: you’re working with our web development team to build your new company website. Or you call upon our Engineering team to make a mechatronics design of your idea. Afterwards, our embedded software team takes care of the motor control.
The deadline is fixed, the scope of the project is clear and the budget is agreed upon. This is going to be so easy!
Until one day you’re not satisfied with the (interim) results.
- “I thought that web form wouldn’t automatically appear on every page?”
- “I don’t like the menu. Can we change it?”
- “The design was supposed to have this specific functionality…”
- “Can we choose another production method for these synthetic materials?”
- “Why isn’t the data communication with the motor control encrypted?”
Can these questions be avoided? No. Projects like these take several months, so it’s normal to have doubts about the arrangements that were made sometimes.
Will these questions cost you time and money? Maybe. Everything depends on the way in which you have defined the description of the project.
- Did you only talk about the web form in a project meeting 3 months ago but never took the time to write it down?
- Did you tell the engineering team over the phone that the design needed these specific functionalities?
- Or did you pin down these requirements in a Statement Of Work?
In that last case, you have nothing to worry about. In the first 2 cases, the goals probably haven’t been sufficiently defined and approved beforehand. And this is an important reason why projects fail. :-(
What is a statement of work (SOW)?
Is your company outsourcing a project to us because you lack the experience, knowledge or manpower required? Then we will define the detailed description of that project in a Statement Of Work (SOW). Typically, this happens right before the start of a project.
Such work specifications include for example the agreed upon deliverables and deadlines, but also the acceptance criteria and rates. A Statement Of Work, SOW for short, is a detailed document that describes everything the project entails, but also what it doesn’t entail.
We all sign the SOW and there you have it: the heart of your project contract. The source of truth that the entire team can consult during the duration of the project.
Do I really need a statement of work?
It’s easy to think that you don’t. Creating a Statement Of Work takes quite some time, and everyone is always busybusybusy! Plus isn’t it normal that a project changes the longer you’re working on it? So in short: if you keep communicating with the company you’re collaborating with, nothing can go wrong!
As always: a thorough preparation is the key to success. And hey, we are more than happy to help you in defining your SOW. Because by now we have seen the proven effectiveness of a Statement Of Work.
We work together efficiently.
If the expectations are clear, the job will get done easily, because everyone involved in the project is on the same wavelength.
We reinforce our relationship.
This way of collaborating gives you peace of mind and ensures you are always up to speed with the progress of the project. At the same time, our project team stays focused. Miscommunications and conflicts are things of the past. You are happy, and so are we. Life can be good!
Our team works toward a clear goal.
Our project leaders work with a structure that clearly shows their project plans. They make sure the executing team knows perfectly what the expectations and the deadlines are.
The arrangements and goals of the project are not set in stone (imagine how much time that would take!). Changes are a natural part of every project. But because everything is structured, changes can also be done in the same, efficient manner.
The results are guaranteed.
The arrangements are clear, and we will stick to them. Nothing is unclear, no discussions. Simply put: you know what you’re buying and for what price.
What if there are doubts about the arrangements?
To conclude, let’s go over the questions and feedback from the introduction of this article. Thanks to a Statement Of Work, these will no longer result in stress or conflict.
- "I thought that web form wouldn’t automatically appear on every page?"
- Ausy: “I will quickly check the SOW!”
- Ausy: “You are right. We will design the backend of the website so that you can manually add the form to the pages.”
- "I don’t like the menu. Can we change it?"
- Ausy: “The menu was built according to the arrangements made in the SOW. We can adjust it, but this will increase the cost of the project.”
- Client: “Okay, I will let you know what to do!”
- "The design was supposed to have this specific functionality…"
- Ausy: “We excluded this functionality from the URS (User Requirement Specifications). We can add this functionality if we make the following changes. Careful: this is more work than we originally agreed upon!”
- Client: “Alright, that’s clear! I will look at it in more detail and let you know the day after tomorrow.”
- "Can we choose another production method for these synthetic materials?"
- Ausy: “We’ve proceeded according to the TRS (Technical Requirement Specifications). We can still change it, but this will imply a scope change.”
- Client: “I still think it’s important and would like to submit a change request!”
- Ausy: “That’s fine! Let’s meet tomorrow and go over the costs.”
- "Why isn’t the data communication with the motor control encrypted?"
- Ausy: “I will check the SOW!”
- Ausy: “You are right, I will ask the team to fix this.”