Creating an Independent Consulting Scope of Work Document: Tips and a Templateby MBO Partners
The scope of work (SOW) is a formal document that captures and defines the tasks, activities, deliverables and timeline an independent consultant will execute for a client project. It is an important tool for independent consultants because the scope determines the boundaries of the client project and can provide the foundation for measuring performance against project goals.
Your scope of work becomes part of your contractual obligation to your client, so it is important to clearly delineate the entire scope without being too restrictive. The SOW will also help the client plan internal resources to accommodate the project. The SOW should address the following:
- Work that will be performed
- Roles and responsibilities
- Timeline for work
- Performance measurement
- Payment terms
The scope of work may also define how the job is to be accomplished. It is important to clearly define the deliverables and objectives. Ambiguity can lead to misunderstandings and affect the success of your project.
For the independent consultant, the SOW is not just a legal tool. In addition to providing the right protections for you and your client, your SOW can be used as a communication tool during the course of your project.
Use it in your initial client meeting to manage expectations and define the project plan. Remember to update the SOW if there is an approved change that modifies the work to be done. The SOW will also help you to stay on course and make sure that you are focused on client deliverables.
Taking the time to capture the right information and clearly define the scope of work will help you properly plan and manage your client project, which in the long run means lasting client relationships.
Never written a statement of work before? We have created a sample version that you can download as an aid to developing your first one, or updating the one you already have.