Before you start on a new project be sure to prepare a statement of work for your client. Learn what should be included, and download a free template.
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A statement of work is a formal document that describes and defines the specifications of the project. Some things that are included are the expected work activities, deliverables, payment, targets, timelines and the terms and conditions applicable to the contract. It is usually prepared and issued by a vendor to minimize problems or confusion during the execution of the client’s contract.
Basic Information: This basic information includes the name of the client, the names of the project administrators at both the client’s and the vendor’s end.
Basic Project Details: These details would include the name of the project, the duration of the project, the start and end date for the project, the basic purpose or objective of the project and details of the location where work of the project is to be executed.
Equipment / Resource List: The vendor must specify the equipment and the resources that will be used for the execution of the project along with cost estimates for each. It’s also worth including any specifications with equipment, manpower or resources as specified by the client so as to avoid any quality issues later on.
Deliverables Schedule: Under the deliverables schedule the vendor is required to list the pre-identified deliverables or milestones along with the proposed completion date for each. It is important to include the acceptance criteria for each deliverable as well.
The Acceptance Criteria are set by the client, and these are essentially qualitative and quantitative aspects that will be used by the client to decide whether or not a task or phase of the project has been completed successfully.
Payment Schedule: Under the payments schedule the vendor has to specify the project phases at the end of which the payments become due from the client. The payment schedule must clearly mention the completion date of the phase and the amount of payment that the client will be required to pay out at the end of each phase.
Specific Requirements: The client may also have specific requirements that can be detailed in this section.
Assumptions: This section should contain all the assumptions made pertaining to the project. For example: materials, facilities, legal issues or information that the client will have to take care of on his own.
Service Agreement: This is where the general terms and conditions that will govern the project need to be detailed, clearly mentioning each party’s rights, responsibilities and liabilities.
Acceptance and Authorization: This is the final part of the statement of work template, and without this the document has no legal sanctity. This is where the authorized representatives of both the parties will accept, acknowledge and sign the document.
For a vendor, writing an effective statement of work before getting started with a project is not just a formality with the client, but is also a way to safeguard his personal interests as well.