Introduction:

80% of organizations spend half their time on rework - FinancesOnline, 94 Essential Project Management Statistics

Why organizations spend so much time on rework? Because projects lack clearly defined objectives and deliverables.

How do organizations develop clear objectives and deliverables, and therefore avoid costly, inefficient re-work?

By creating a detailed Statement of Work (SoW). 

A detailed Statement of Work (SoW), when created properly and signed by both parties, can be used as a single source of truth for the whole project team and can be referred back to, over the course of the project.

It should determine what’s in scope and included within the original project cost, and what’s not in scope, and therefore needs to be paid for.

Use this Statement of Work (SoW) process template checklist to create a structured Statement of Work (SoW) which will enable you to define exactly what’s included within a project and what’s not. 

Following this Process Street process means: 

  • You won’t have to think about the structure and what should go into the document
  • You won’t need to worry about missing any key information
  • You can catch silly mistakes
  • You can make sure you include the right level of detailed information

Use this Statment of Work process template alongside the document you plan to send to the client. 

Process Street is super-powered checklists. It’s the easiest way to manage your recurring tasks, procedures, and workflows.

Create a checklist template and run individual checklists for each member of your team. You can check tasks off as you work through them, set deadlines, add approvalsassign tasks, and track each team member's progress.

You can also connect to thousands of Apps through Zapier and automate your workflows even more.

Complete checklist details

Start this process by confirming who is completing the checklist and when the SoW process will start, in the fields below.

This will enable you to keep a record of the SoW you've created and allow people within your company to know who to contact if they have any questions or need any information about the SoW you are creating.

Select the members of the project team and the key internal project stakeholder that will all need to approve the SoW before it goes to the client for signing.  

Planning the SoW:

Confirm client details

The next stage is start to planning what you will include in your SoW. 

First, confirm who the client is, where they work, and what their contact details are, in the fields below, so that you have a record to refer back to at any point. 

Confirm project details

Next, confirm the project name, objectives, cost, and deadline so you have a record and people accessing this checklist understand what project you are creating a SoW for. 

Create your document

Now you have confirmed the clients and projects basic details, it's time to create the SoW document and structure.

First, make sure you do the following set-up tasks:

  • 1
    Decide what document authoring tool you will use
  • 2
    Create a new document
  • 3
    Name it
  • 4
    Save it
  • 5
    Add the location / URL of your document in the field below

Top tip:
Word or Google Docs would be a perfect tool to use for your SoW.

Plan your structure

Now you have your document open, ready to go, it's time to start thinking about what you're going to include in it.

It's important to plan this, before you start writing it, to make sure you think about everything you need to include and don't leave any important details out. 

This template follows a common SoW structure but you can change the structure and sections of this SoW template to fit the project you are working on.

Add new sections, or edit and remove redundant ones by following these instructions.

Start by brainstorming and writing what you want to include in each section, in the fields below. 

Create a title & contents page

Once you're happy with your plan and structure, add the titles of each section to your document: 

1. Overview 

2. Scope of Work 

3. Deliverables 

4. Standards 

5. Testing 

6. Assumptions 

7. Payment

8. Closure

(if you have created your own sections, add these to your document instead)

Then create a contents page.

You should be able to do this automatically, depending on the document authoring tool you're using.  

Next create a title page, containing the following information:  

  • 1
    Your company name
  • 2
    Your name
  • 3
    The name of the project
  • 4
    The date
  • 5
    Your clients' name
  • 6
    Your client's company

So it might perhaps look a little like this: 

{{form.Your_company's_name}}

Is working on the following

{{form.Project_name}}

for

{{form.Client_organization}}

This document has been prepared by {{form.Your_name}} for {{form.Client_name}} on this date: {{form.Start_date_of_the_SoW_process}}

Writing the SoW:

Write the overview section

Now you have your document structure planned and sorted, now you can begin fleshing out the SoW. Starting with the overview section. 

This is what you planned to include in the overview section: 

{{form.What_you_will_include_in_the_overview}}

The objective for this section is to confirm the purpose of the project.

Make sure you thoroughly explain: 

  • 1
    What the project is
  • 2
    Why the project is happening/why it's needed
  • 3
    What the project will achieve when it's completed

Top tip:
Everything you write in this section needs to answer the question:
Why does this matter?
This will keep the objectives of the project useful, realistic, and achievable.

Write the scope of work section

The next section to complete, is the scope of work. 

This is what you planned to include in the scope of work section: 

{{form.What_you_will_include_in_the_scope_of_work}}

The main objective of this section is to detail what work will be done, how and where the work will be completed, and who has the final approval over it. 

It needs to define the work that will be done, and the steps that need to be taken to complete it.

Make sure you:  

  • 1
    Identify each task that needs to be done to complete the project
  • 2
    Explain why each task is necessary
  • 3
    Confirm how each task will be done (include any materials, equipment, or software that you will use)
  • 4
    Define where each task will be completed (if applicable)
  • 5
    Establish when each task will be completed (make sure each task is displayed in a logical order)
  • 6
    Confirm who will have final approval over each task

Write the deliverables section

The next section to complete is the deliverables section.

This is what you planned to include in the deliverables section:

{{form.What_you_will_include_in_the_deliverables}}

The objective of this section is to clarify what will be produced (key deliverables) and when it will be produced by (key milestones), and it usually includes a project schedule or timeline.

  • 1
    Define the amount of time that's needed to complete the entire project
  • 2
    Establish what the key deliverables will be (describe them in detail ie. quantity, size, color, etc...)
  • 3
    List the key deliverables against key milestone dates to establish what is due and when it's due
  • 4
    Create and add a top-line schedule/timetable *

*Make sure your timeline/schedule is flexible and protects you against delays, outside of your control (such as the client taking their time to sign the SoW).

Be sure to also include activities such as the project kickoff, the review stages, and development & testing time etc..

Upload your timeline/schedule into the field below.

You may need to refer back to the schedule/timeline throughout the project (and even update it), so it's useful to have it here so you can easily refer back to it.

Plus, being able to see and access the schedule/timeline keeps the project stakeholders/team informed and in the loop. 

Write the standards section

The next section to complete is the standards section.

This is what you planned to include in the standards section:

{{form.What_you_will_include_in_the_standards}}

The main objective of this section is to describe the standards (eg. ISO 9001) that the project needs to meet, and confirm ‘what good looks like’.

Upload any standards or guidelines that the project needs to follow in the field below, so the project team can refer back to these at any point during the project. 

Summarize the standards and guidelines that the project needs to follow, in the field below (for everyone to see), and add this summary to your SoW document. 

Write the testing section

Source

The next section to complete is the testing section.

This is what you planned to include in the testing section:

{{form.What_you_will_include_in_the_testing}}

The main objective of this section is to clarify what, how, and when testing will be carried out, to make sure the project meets the standards set in the previous section.

  • 1
    Establish what will be tested
  • 2
    Confirm when the testing will happen
  • 3
    Describe how the testing will be done
  • 4
    Detail where the testing will be carried out

Write the assumptions section

Source

The next section to complete is the assumptions section.

This is what you planned to include in the assumptions section:

{{form.What_you_will_include_in_the_assumptions_(ie._what's_not_included)}}

The main objective of this section is to summarize what is and isn’t included in the project.

It's best to be crystal clear at this point exactly what the project will and won't cover. This should help you avoid any costly misunderstandings. 

  • 1
    List what the project will include (you can use the deliverables section to help you)
  • 2
    List what the project will not include

Top Tip:
This is when it becomes essential to brainstorm with the project team (and the client) about what will and won't be included in the project.

Try and think of every potential scenario and requirement that the client may want or need and decide if it will be included in the project, or charged as an extra feature. 

Write the payment section

The next section to complete is the payment section.

This is what you planned to include in the payment section:

{{form.What_you_will_include_in_the_payment}}

The main objective of this section is to confirm what the project will cost and is usually accompanied by a budget or payment schedule.

The budget has probably already been created and approved for the project, so all you need to do in the SoW document is: 

  • 1
    List out the payments
  • 2
    Specify when the payments are due
  • 3
    Confirm how they will be paid

Upload the confirmed and approved project budget into the field below, so everyone can refer to it when needed. 

Write the closure section

The final section to complete is the closure section.

This is what you planned to include in the closure section:

{{form.What_you_will_include_in_the_closure}}

The main objective of this section is to detail how the deliverables will be accepted, and who will deliver, review, and sign them all off.

This section also makes sure all parties sign and date the document.

  • 1
    Confirm who will deliver each deliverable
  • 2
    Confirm who will review each deliverable
  • 3
    Confirm who will approve each deliverable
  • 4
    Make sure there is a section for you to sign & date
  • 5
    Make sure there is a section for your client to sign & date

Top Tip: 
You may have additional information about the project that doesn't fall into these SoW sections. To cover this, you can add an ''Other" section.

Do make sure you include it though!

Reviewing the SoW:

Upload your 1st draft SoW

Now you have written your SoW, it's now time for the project team to review it and make sure they're happy with what's been agreed before it goes to the client. 

So, upload your 1st draft SoW into the field below, ready to send for approval in the next task. 

Approval:

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Upload your 1st draft SoW
    Will be submitted

Make changes & re-upload your final draft

Now the team has reviewed it, they may have some feedback or changes.

Add this feedback into the field below, so you have a record of what's changed and make these changes to your first draft.

A word of warning!

Depending on the feedback you have received from the project team, you may need to repeat this process and update a 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th draft of the SoW.

You need to follow this process until the team is happy that the document accurately reflects the work they are to complete.
 

Re-upload your final draft SoW so it can be approved by the key internal project stakeholder in the next task.

Approval:

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Make changes & re-upload your final draft
    Will be submitted

Send to client

Now the SoW has been approved by the project team and the internal project stakeholder, it's now ready to send to the client.

Below is an example email of what you might send to the client once the SoW is ready to send. 

Make changes & re-send

The client will undoubtedly have questions and possible changes they want to make to the agreement.

List them below so you have a record and update the SoW accordingly. 

Re-upload the final version of the SoW into the field below and send it back to the client for approval, using the email template below.

Repeat this process until the document,ent has been approved by the client. 

Confirm client approval

Before you move any further forwards, you must have received approval for your SoW from the client. 

Make changes & re-send

List the client feedback below so you have a record, update the SoW accordingly, and resend to the client.

Confirm client approval

Before you can move forwards, your client must have approved the SoW changes you have made. 

Signing the SoW:

Sign final SoW and send to client for signing

Source

Now the client has approved the SoW, it's time to sign it, scan it, and re-upload it into the field below.

Next, send it to the client using the email template below. 

Confirm client has signed the SoW

Before you move any further forwards, you must have received a signed copy of the SoW from your client. 

Store in a central place

Once you have received a signed copy of the SoW, re-upload it into the field below for your records, and save it in a central location so that everyone can view it, or refer back to it when they need to. 

Updating the SoW:

Keep it updated

One final thing to remember!

During the course of your project, if any details within the SoW change, you must update the SoW and get the client to re-sign the document.

To do this, simply repeat steps 18 - 29 

Sources:

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