The design of a construction project is a demanding task that requires a lot of your time, effort and focus. As an independent architect or a project manager, you have a long process to follow to identify the activities and resources required to make every project a success. Which is why it's very important to have a strong scope of work (sow) document to lay out a proper foundation and guarantee that your efforts are not in vain.
But you don't have to spend hours writing each scope of work document from scratch for all of your construction projects. A great way to streamline this process is by creating your own design scope of work template to help you easily create a formal document outlining the vital project specifics. To make sure all important information is always covered, we will go over the main aspects your scope of work template should include.
Note: Check out Bonsai's wide gallery of free scope of work templates especially designed for your line of business. Save your precious time and energy with a well-designed, bulletproof template that gets the job done.
Essential Elements of a Project Scope of Work Template
While there is no single way of structuring your scope or statement of work template, there are some broad rules and factors to keep in mind. You want to take your time and include as many details as possible (without overdoing it) regarding the project requirements, expected outcomes, and individual tasks. To provide you with a strong starting point, make sure to include the following essential elements on your scope of work (SOW) template.
Start your scope of work template with a section to provide a brief description of the project. Include the project name, job location, background, the people who will be working in it and a summary of the goals (expand on the next section). You can also add your problem statement which describes the 'problem' you intend to resolve with this project.
Scope of work documents should include a milestones section where you specify the objectives you aim to fulfill in clear detail. Basically, a project overview where you show your clients what you are set out to achieve. Outline the project's goals along with the due dates and requirements for their completion. Make sure the goals you include are quantifiable and simple to assess whether you've succeeded in achieving them.
For this section, provide a path leading from the design project's beginning to its conclusion. You want to outline the key elements and stages spread out along the timeline and define the project's overall strategy. The timeline is usually best presented visually (such as a chart) so that your stakeholders get a better grasp of the generic scope. This helps as a reference point to make sure everyone is on track with schedule.
The deliverables section defines the structure, technical details, organization, content, task list, incremental design levels and timeframes. Here you can include a description of the conceptual design, a definition of the product requirement, project tasks, and catalog cuts, as well as a best value analysis, clearly identifying each component. It's helpful to create a work breakdown structure to easily explain the deliverables to your clients.
Next, provide a description of all items, tasks, or services that are not part of the project scope. It's important to be detailed in this section as any misunderstandings or omissions can easily lead to a dispute and even legal repercussions. Keep in mind this is especially useful when working in more complicated projects that may have unexpected results. So if the project is pretty straightforward and there are not many things in the scope, you probably won't need to add this section.
The pricing or cost portion of scope of work (sow) documents is one of the most important elements. Here, you should list the anticipated cost of the labor, commodities, or services that the client has agreed to. Depending on the type of design services you are providing it could be sufficient to mention a single hourly rate. This is also the right area to mention payment terms, such as when payments are expected after each milestone or whether payments are due once the project is finished. You can also state whether deposits are required.
Your scope of work document must include a glossary section which is where you will provide a definition for all acronyms used as well as strange or unusual terminology. You must keep a perspective of someone who is not familiar with the industry so you want to make it easy for them to understand and reduce the time wasted providing clarifications.
Your scope of work document's approval section is what turns it into an official document that certifies your agreement and makes it official. Both the client's and the business representative's signature is there to demonstrate that both parties have read and agree to the conditions of the agreement. You must include the date when the document is signed as this will help keep track of the project's progress, as well as full names, and phone numbers of all parties signing.
Use Our Free Scope of Work Templates for your
You probably don't want to spend hours behind the desk trying to come up with the perfect structure for your scope of work template. Luckily, you don't have to do it yourself. Bonsai brings you the best scope of work templates that you can use for any design and construction project. Our templates are fully customizable to fit your business needs and you can easily fill in the client-specific information to help you save time.
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