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5 top tips for drafting a Statement of Work

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You’ve just landed a hot new deal and you’re ready to get this show on the road. But there’s one last thing to do – draft an awesome Statement of Work (SOW) that clearly sets out the commercial details of the project.

Our Commercial Team has whittled down our five hottest tips to consider when you’re drafting a Statement of Work.

1. Use clear language to describe each action or task

Make sure you outline scope of work and each relevant action and/or task in simple terms.

You need to describe exactly:

  • what it is that you’re going to do
  • where the services will be carried out
  • identify any bespoke customer requirements on top of out-of-the-box software
  • when you’re going to complete the work.
Avoid using any vague wording like:

“the services will be completed on the agreed date” – What services?! Where will they be completed? What needs to happen for completion to take place? When is the agreed date?

Precision and accuracy is crucial.

2. Don’t forget deliverables, deadlines and payment

You’d be surprised how often one of the above elements is missing from a SOW. Some SOWs include payment and deadlines but forget to describe what the deliverables actually are. Others include deadlines and deliverables, but fail to clarify how they affect payment. These commercial points will all have been agreed (or should have been!), so make sure they’re recorded in the SOW. Highlighting payment deadlines or payments on various deliverables can protect you down the line.

3. Include acceptance criteria

What will happen if you deliver the goods or services and then you don’t hear from your client again? It’s always a good idea to include acceptance criteria within a specified time frame, to avoid arguments.

Criteria should be measurable (things like milestones, productivity standards, etc) will let both parties know exactly where they stand later down the line. You’ll need something more than a simple timecard to demonstrate performance.

4. Service level availability

What’s the Service Level Agreement (SLA) for the service you’re offering? And what will the remedy be if it isn’t met?

For example, if you’re offering SaaS with 99.99% availability, which works out as 52 minutes and 35 seconds of yearly downtime, this may sound great to your client, but if this isn’t the SLA offered from your supplier, then you shouldn’t be offering it to your client.

Of course the lower the availability you can offer, the better, as this gives you some flexibility if the SLA isn’t met by your own supplier. Make sure you include the SLA in your SOW so everyone knows what the remedy is if anything goes wrong.

5. Special terms, conditions and requirements

If there are any special terms or project specific requirements that have been agreed, be sure to include these in the SOW too.

The best SOWs cover all five of the above accurately and in a way that makes sense for everyone. If you have any questions or if you’d like a template SOW drafted tailored to your business, then get in touch with a member of our Commercial Team here at Law 365.

Need help drafting your Statement of Work?

At Law 365 our Microsoft 365 speaking technology specialists deal with statements of work on a daily basis. If you've got a question regarding statements of work or would like to find out more, we'd love to hear from you! Get started.


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