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Saturday, 26 November 2011

Project Statement of Work (SOW)


Project Statement of Work (SOW)

The project statement of work (SOW) is a description of products or services to be delivered by project.
Types of SOW:
Internal Project - The project sponsor or initiator provides the SOW based on the business need.
External Project – The customer provides the SOW as part of bid process.

The Statement of Work, or SOW, is the bible for the work the project must produce. The SOW is a key governance tool whether it is being used to direct work for a vendor or contractor, or used to direct the work internally, the SOW must contain a description of all the work that is expected. The description need not be at the detail level, indeed for large projects capturing detail in the SOW is not practical, but should be comprehensive and include work that produces the projects deliverables as well as administrative work such as project reporting.
The SOW will form a key part of the contract if the work is being done by a vendor or contractor. Work captured in this document is part of the vendor's contractual obligation to you. Work not contained in the SOW will only be done if it is mutually agreed upon, or introduced to the project through a change request. The SOW is also important to the internal team, although there are no legal implications, because resourcing will be planned to accommodate only that work described in the SOW.

The SOW contains:
  • Scope of work: A detailed description of the work, the software and hardware to be used, and the exact nature of the work.
  • Location of the work: Where the location of the work to be done would be other than a standard location. This would be applicable to an SOW for work to be performed offshore.
  • Period of performance: The start and finish date for the project, maximum billable hours per time period, etc.
  • Deliverables schedule: Due dates for the deliverables of the project. This would include completion dates for development, QA testing, User Acceptance Testing, etc.
  • Applicable standards: Industry standards or other standards imposed on the project deliverables. These should include any standards such as ISO, CMM, CMMI, etc.
  • Acceptance criteria: These would include any quality standards that must be met, for example zero priority 1 defects. They should also include any other conditions that must be met such as number of test cases, number of test cases executed, etc.
  • Specialised requirements: These will include any special qualifications for the workforce, such as a PMP certified Project Manager.
Your next step will be to have your project sponsors, or the customer for the project, approve the SOW. The SOW will now become the official scope baseline for your project. Anything detailed in the SOW must be present in the final product.

Guidelines for developing SOW:
     1. Link requirement with approach 
     2. Develop scope 
     3. Identify concrete and measurable steps 
     4. Estimate resources and budget needs 
     5. Identify risks 
     6. Define project success 
     7. Identify responsibilities 
     8. Have clear project priorities 
     9. Open communication and cooperation 
     10. Basis for acceptance and authorization
     11. Use clear language
     12. Be Specific   
     13. Review regulations, Policies and other documents

The sample SOW document table of content is provided below:

DOCUMENT HEADING
REVISION HISTORY
DEFINITIONS 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I.        REQUEST      
II.       BACKGROUND
1.       History of the Project         
2.       Business or IT Objectives of the Project    
3.       Critical Success Factors of the Project      
III.      PROJECT SCOPE      
1.       In-Scope      
2.       Out of Scope 
IV.      MANAGEMENT APPROACH   
1.       Plan Management    
2.       Communications Management       
3.       Team communications        
4.       Customer communications  
5.       Issues Management 
V.       QUALITY ASSURANCE
VI.      TECHNICAL ENVIRONMENT  
1.       Development Environment  
2.       Testing Environment 
3.       Middle-Tier Environment     
4.       Access & Security    
VII.     WORK APPROACH AND DELIVERABLES      
1.       Work Approach       
2.       Deliverables (& Milestones)  
VIII.    ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
1.       Project Organization Chart  
2.       Project Roles and Responsibilities Table     
·         Executive Project Sponsor   
·         Project Customer     
·         Project Manager      
·         Business Analyst      
·         Data Architect
·         Programmer 
·         Testing Lead  
·         Testers        
·         Project Role  
·         Project Officer        
·         SME
IX.      PROJECT PLAN        
X.       RISK MANAGEMENT  
XI.      CHANGE MANAGEMENT       
XII.     ACCEPTANCE MANAGEMENT
·         Acceptance Procedure        
·         Final Acceptance      
XIII.    APPROVED BY



1 comment:

  1. Yeah its a good article. According to you what we project managers do is communicating. And a lot of this communication is done during project meetings. It can sometimes feel like you are running from one meeting to another and that your time is often wasted. Meetings don’t start on time, the issues aren’t dealt with, there is no agenda, there is no focus, nobody assigns any follow ups or tasks and of course then they also don’t end on time. An efficient project manager is required for the good management of a project. I think a project manager should PMP certified. Looking forwards to apply what I learned in PMP classes in my company.

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