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4 Min. Read

What Is a Statement of Work? Definition & Examples

What Is a Statement of Work? Definition & Examples

Paperwork. It can be the bane of any business. 

Yet it is a common truth that everything revolves around your ability to work through admin and paperwork. There are various rules and procedures that any paperwork has to go through which can be tedious, to say the least.

However, paperwork is also important. It’s needed for you to keep a track of various things such as your sales, your taxes, your insurance and many more. 

One of the most important pieces of paperwork is a statement of work, or SoW for short. 

But what is a statement of work? We’ll break it down for you and give you some examples to help you along the way. 

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

What Is a Statement of Work?

Key Takeaways

What Is a Statement of Work?

When starting a project, one of the first and most important steps is to outline your SoW.

A SoW is a document that defines and outlines all aspects of your upcoming project. The document shows the deliverables, activities and the overall timescale for the project. This can be presented to an investor, a manager or your project team.

A SoW will need to be an extremely detailed document as it will lay the foundations for the project plans. This can make creating your SoW seem like a daunting task. 

However, it’s actually easier than it may seem. Here’s a rough checklist of examples of what you should include when writing your SoW. 

Define Your Goals

You should clearly define what your project objectives are and what would constitute a successful project. You should also include what would be considered a failure. 

There should be no vague sentences involved and it should be very clear and easy to read. Essentially, the more detail - the better. 

Outline Your Logistics

This can include every logistical part of the project. For example where the project will take place, at an office or offsite location. Or if each of your project team will be working together or remotely. 

Include Your Timetables

The primary focus in your SoW should be the quality of the work you intend to produce. This should be closely followed by the commitment to complete it in a timely manner. 

Most SoWs will include various basic terms and deadlines. These deadlines don’t have to be fully specified as they can include some flexibility which allows for any potential issues. 

Create Project Milestones

As with any large task, it’s important to break the project down into digestible bites or milestones. 

This will lay out a map of how you expect the project to be completed. It can also be used as a reasonable judgment of how the project is coming along throughout the process.

Make It Easily Readable

Although you’ll want to show that you are an expert in your field, you also don’t want to fill your SoW with business-related jargon. 

There should be a balance between being able to showcase that you have confidence in your ability whilst also making it readable. Especially for someone who may not have the same level of understanding. 

Include Your Financial Plan

Anyone who is taking the time to read your SoW will likely want a breakdown of your project costs. This should include how you intend to use your financial resources and your payment terms. 

If you’ve created a financial plan or a budget, then you can list the payments related to the project and how they will be delivered. 

This will also need to be a detailed part as the success of a project can often rely on the ability to adequately fund it. 

Key Takeaways

A well-defined statement of work is a key document that is needed before the entire project can be started. 

It’s a helpful tool as the structure it provides can guide you throughout the whole process and helps you tackle any big-picture issues.

They also help to avoid conflicts within the project. You have an agreed-upon scope, and you must stick to this plan. 

The key takeaway from this should be to include as much information and detail as possible. After all, there is no such thing as being too prepared. 

Are you looking for more business advice on everything from starting a new business to new business practices? 


Then check out the FreshBooks resource hub.


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