Statement Of Work

A Statement of Work (SOW) is a narrative description of the required work. It stipulates the deliverables or services required to fulfill the contract, and it defines the task to be accomplished or services to be delivered in clear, concise and meaningful terms.


The official title of the project.
Provides a paragraph description of the tasks or services required.
Estimated Value
Provides a total estimate of the overall value of the requirement, including the cost of the professional services, the travel and living costs, translation, miscellaneous costs, and any other costs which will be associated with the requirement.
Objectives of the Project
Describes what is to be achieved or delivered by the completion of the contract. It also identifies the intended use of the completed project.
Identifies the situation leading up to the project, and those events and circumstances leading to the need for this contract.
Scope of the Project
Describes the range, extent, and parameters around the work to be completed in association with the contract. This also specifies the hardware and software involved.
Identify all the people who are involved, with relevant contact information such as phone numbers, email addresses, and instant messaging usernames. This section includes information about which participants should be notified of project progress.
Identifies how the project fits within an organizational objective. Describes the organization, end users, bibliography, references, technical experts in the field, etc. - anything that will assist the contractor in formulating a good bid.
Describes any previous related contract work and its success or failure, previous contractors, etc.
Performance Metrics
Describe the performance metrics that are relevant to the project. This may include business metrics (e.g. net revenue, customer satisfaction) and technical metrics (e.g. page views per day, percent uptime)
Type of Contract and Payment Schedule
The project acceptance will depend on if the budget available will be enough to cover the work required. Therefore payments breakdown whether up front or phased will be negotiated very early at this stage.


The requirements describe the tasks or activities to be performed by the contractor. It also includes a detailed description of what is required for each of the identified deliverables.

The description will provide sufficient information so that all parties will be able to understand what will signal completion of a phase or milestone in the work.

In most situations, this section will identify what methodology and sequence each of the deliverables will need to meet, how the deliverable will need to be delivered and what will be the relationship of one deliverable with another. This section will provide information on the language, format, version and content requirements for each task or activity and each deliverable or milestone in the work.

It will also reference the Schedule and Estimated Level of Effort expected for completion of the work; any Specifications or Standards which will be used; and the Method and Source of Acceptance which will be applied by the Client to the deliverables. This information may help to establish a progress payment schedule.

You may see all this information included in a table and/or text.

This section identifies the manner in which the work is to be delivered and will be measured as completed. In some cases, the information provided in the Deliverable or the Method and Source of Acceptance Sections of the SOW will be sufficient. In other cases, specific reference will be made to the details and qualitative and quantitative measures which will be used by Client to determine completion and satisfaction with the work.
Applicable Standards
This describes any industry standards that need to be adhered to in fulfilling the contract.

It also identifies the guidelines and templates that must be followed or used by the Contractor in completing the work. Some relevant examples might be the reference to specific sections of authoritative sources, governmental regulations, or best-of-breed practices, peer organization processes, and guidelines.

Technical, Operational and Organizational Environment
Provides details on the technical, organizational and operational environment in which the work will be completed. It is more significant in work where technical compatibility issues may arise. In some cases, it is important to describe in this Section how the work will fit within other initiatives and who will be the ultimate end user of the requirement.
Method and Source of Acceptance
Provides a description of the performance, quality, format and testing requirements which will be used to measure whether the work is acceptable or not.

The following language might be used:

All deliverables and services rendered under any contract are subject to inspection by the Project Authority. Should any deliverables not be to the satisfaction of the Project Authority, as submitted, the Project Authority shall have the right to reject it or require correction before payment will be authorized.

This may also describe quality assurance in terms of processes, goals, automated testing, user testing, etc.

Reporting Requirements
Describes any performance or status reporting requirements which will be expected of the Contractor during the life of the Contract. Includes the format, frequency, number of copies and specific content requirements. It will also identify the need for presentations, conferences or status meetings, if required between the Contractor and the Project Authority.
Project Management Control Procedures
Provides details of how the Project Authority will control the work (progress meetings, demonstrations, prototypes etc.). It will identify how the payment schedule will be matched to the measurement of performance throughout the contract. Contract management and controls in the SOW should be specific to the work and tasks.

The following language might be used:

The Project Authority shall ensure the contract will be brought in on time, on budget and of an acceptable quality; i.e. submission of progress reports, system tests, etc.)
Change Management Procedures
Provides a description of the process by which any changes to the Scope will be handled. It clearly defines that no changes will be implemented without first obtaining the approval of the Contract Authority in writing and as required the complete processing of a Contract Amendment.

The following language might be used:

Client does not anticipate any changes to the requirements detailed in this SOW. However, if changes do arise they must be done in writing by the Project Authority, and an amendment must be prepared to reflect these changes.
Ownership of Intellectual Property
Describe who will own any intellectual property created as a result of the Contract. This may include aspects relating to work-for-hire, confidentiality, open source, derivative works, etc.

The following language might be used:

The Intellectual Property will be owned by Client as a work for hire.

Other Terms and Conditions

Identifies who will perform the role of the Project Authority and the Contracting Authority and the person who will handle Administration and Invoicing Questions. It also clarifies how the Contractor is to interact with and obtain direction from the Project Authority.
Client's Obligations
Identifies the access to facilities, the loan or use of Furnished Equipment, the access to documentation, networks, etc. which Client will provide to the Contractor. The following are examples of the contents that may be included under this heading:
  • access to the Client's policies, procedures,publications, reports, studies, etc.
  • ensure availability of staff with whom the contractor may need to consult;
  • access to appropriate guidelines, standards, industry regulations;
  • provide comments on draft reports within five working days from receipt of report;
  • schedule teleconferences, if required;
  • provide applicable documentation;
  • provide other assistance or support.
Contractor's Obligations
The following are examples of the contents that may be included under this heading:
Location of Work, Work site and Delivery Point
Identifies where the work is expected to be completed. This also specifies the location of hardware and software and where people will meet to perform the work.

The following language might be used:

Due to existing workload and deadlines, all personnel assigned to any Contract must be ready to work in close and frequent contact with the Client's personnel. The work will be performed at the Contractor's location.
Language of Work
Identifies if the work must be conducted in a particular language, or languages, and if so by which role or for which task.
Special Requirements
Indicates if there will be any requirements for special licenses, information on patents, permits, bonds or import/export details which may be required of either Party.
Security Requirements
Describe any security requirements and policies that the Contractor will need to meet in advance of Contract Award, and how the Contractor will need to demonstrate compliance.

The following language might be used:

It is a condition that, prior to performance of any obligation under any contract, the Contractor and sub-contractors and their employees assigned to the performance of such contract will be cleared by the federal government at the Reliability level.
Insurance Requirements
Describes any kind of insurance that Client or Contractor may need, such as bonding, on-time completion guarantors, etc.
Travel and Living Expenses
If travel is required, the estimated amount will be specified.


Expected Start and Completion Dates
Identifies the period in which the work is to be completed. More details are provided in the section of the SOW which identifies the specific schedule which will be required for completion of the work.

The following language might be used:

The services of the Contractor will be required for a period of approximately (weeks, months or years) commencing on or about (day, month, year). The expected completion date of this project is (day, month, year).

This may also specify allowable time for projects such as number of hours that can be billed per week or month.

Schedule and Estimated Level of Effort (Work Breakdown Structure)
To be determined.
Required Resources or Types of Roles to be Performed
Provides a brief description of the roles to be performed by the Contractor's resources, if applicable and the specific expertise or minimum requirements for each role.

The following language might be used:

  • Current Licence from a particular regulatory body.
  • Member in good standing with an industry organization.
Applicable Documents
Appends any relevant background documents, drawings, specifications, samples or information which will be important to demonstrate what, how and when the work will need to be completed.
Relevant Terms, Acronyms and Glossaries
Provides an explanation of any relevant terms, acronyms or wording used in the body of the SOW.

The following language might be used:

  • SOW - Statement of Work
  • VP - Vice President
  • DOD - Department Of Defense
  • HTML - Hyper Text Markup Language
Sign-off for proposed resource
The following phrase will appear at the end of each Statement of Work.
NOTE: Before signing the Statement of Work, if you have any questions or concerns, please call the Project Authority indicated above to negotiate any issues.

If you agree to the requirements of this Statement of Work, please sign and date the document which will be accepted as your proposal by Client, and return to my attention by facsimile (number) later than 2 working days from receipt of the document.

Please return an original signature copy by mail.

Date: _____________________

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