Contract Scope of Work: Everything You Need to Know

A contract scope of work is a document that frames or outlines the work to be performed under a contract or subcontract. It is not an actual contract.3 min read

A contract scope of work is a document that frames or outlines the work to be performed under a contract or subcontract. It is not an actual contract. Rather, it instead provides a series of sections detailing the expectations for a job or project.

Elements of the Scope of Work

The statement of work is an in-depth document that includes the following details:

  • Project goals.
  • Guidelines.
  • Deliverables.
  • Schedule.
  • Costs.

The scope section focuses on how the goals are attained. Initially, the scope of work begins with a statement of purpose, which is basically an overview of the job or contract. It can also include individual sections outlining specific deliverables. Within each section, there will be information about the task and the deadline when the task is to be completed.

The scope of work (SOW) explains the services that will be provided on a particular project and the work that will be provided for the project in a contractual agreement. The scope lists things such as:

  • Qualitative and quantitative performance requirements.
  • References specifications, if applicable to the project.
  • Notices and drawings, if construction or design-related.
  • Organizational charts for those assigned to work on the project.
  • Tools and equipment necessary for the job.
  • Identification of additional resources.

There should also be a payment section that breaks down the cost as a whole or per individual task. The provided information in each section ensures both parties are aware of their responsibilities regarding the job or project, the division of tasks, and the methods to be used on the project.

An example of the scope section involving a software development project could include steps for "develop the application" and "test application," while the tasks and requirements section would detail and break down the tasks relative to the processes such as "code design for the first module relevant to the application."

Creating a Scope of Work

The scope of work should be clearly defined with accurate and unambiguous information. It should be contractually sound as well as unbiased and non-prejudiced toward respondents. It should encourage innovative solutions to the job or project requirements and allow for reasonable free and open competition.

Guidelines for Forming a Scope of Work

The following are general guidelines for creating a SOW:

  • A preliminary statement summarizing the objectives of the procurement solicitation.
  • A historical procurement summary of the goods or services.
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