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One of the common phrases in everyday consulting business is the statement of work (SOW). A statement of work is an important document for a project and contract management. A sample statement of work for consulting services would prove useful for consultants in clarifying and communicating the details of a project to clients, contractors, and vendors that are contributing to their services.
The document describes the objective of a project or service, the scope of work, deliverables to expect times lines, cost, among other factors. Besides, a SOW serves a guarantee to clients that the deliverables of a project/service would be done according to specific guidelines and specifications of a client.
A sample statement of work for consulting services can be in different formats, including Excel, PDF, or Word. The document can be used for a wide range of consulting services, including design, software development, or large scale projects like government building contracts. In this article, we would show you how to overcome to create a professional sample statement of work for consulting services and the pitfalls to avoid.
Here is how to create your statement of work for consulting services. If you provide consulting services, you need to draft and present a SOW to clients, which may serve as both a proposal and a binding agreement. You may also need to send out a consultant invoice. Take note of the following when drafting the SOW.
This is not the place to display too much creativity. Stick to the common structure that is easy to understand. A regular structure goes thus: introduction, background, objective/goals, the scope of work, milestones, timelines, cost, resources, clauses & assumptions, conclusion.
Different opinions may count here, but it is wise to provide just the needed information in your SOW. Let the content be just enough to handle the following:
Before writing your sample statement of work for consulting services, it would be helpful if you have discussed with the client and have asked important questions about the project/service. This will help you write a compelling SOW. Besides, show your knowledge and familiarity with the client if you've worked for them before; it takes away doubt and strengthens intimacy.
There is a little room for show-boating in every SOW and proposal. A bit of persuasive elements is required in your sample statement of work for consulting services to prove you are experienced in what you are about to deliver. Be specific, mentions words that the client has used; many think you are genius if you do this, and it means you are a good listener.
A sample statement of work for consulting services should be unique, professional, logical, and consistent. Avoid different people working on different sections of the document to avoid a lack of consistency, which may lead to loss of consulting hours. Better still, ensure one person proofread the document if several persons must work on it.
A statement of work is a part of a legal contract, which often have work terms and conditions. The document may be reviewed by different people and the legal department of clients; hence, keep it simple and avoid vague terms. The last thing you’d expect is a handcuff when you are half-way into the project because of unnecessary crap in your SOW, which forces you to do a job that is not in line with the objective of your client.
A scope of work template is an essential document to freelancers and independent consultants who provide professional services for individuals and businesses. The professional scope of work captures and defines the tasks, deliverables, activities, and timeline of a project.
Not only that, the scope of work, if you give well-thought writing, will tell your story as a consultant. If you provide any form of consulting service, you should consider getting an editable consulting scope of work template for quick use.
If you sign a contract for businesses, the scope of work will help you define the terms of work. You can't afford ambiguity when dealing with a client since that may lead to misunderstanding and eventually affect your business relationship. Business consultants can avoid miscommunication when they define they use the SOW to define the deliverables and objectives of a project as well as strategies to accomplish them.
Asides the fact that an SOW can stand as a legal document for protecting the interests of clients and professionals alike, the document is also useful to track work progress and staying on course. You can create your consulting scope of work template to craft a plan and manage your consulting service for a client. A consultant can always modify an SOW if there are approved changes that affect the project timeline or any other important detail about a project.
One or more of the following sections should be included in a consulting scope of work template.
This section is where you add your business information like name, address, phone number, and email address. Don't forget to add information about your client. Also, the introduction should include the supplier autonomy statement and the name of the project.
This part of a scope of work deals with the project information and expectations. It describes the problem, deliverables, and goals. Your consulting scope of work template should also cover strategies in this section, and it must be aligned with the client's goals.
This section covers the payment details and cost of the consulting service. It also includes material cost, milestone, reimbursement, and other financial expenses. It is important to be detailed here but with just enough information to clear the invoice at the end of the project.
If you would need authorization or any form of approval to start work, you should include the request in your consulting scope of work template. This would avoid delay and provide you access to the client's portal or whatever you are meant to work on.
This is the place to set a timeline and milestones if applicable. Set dates for each part of the project if you have broken the job into discrete tasks. It will help you coordinate the work if it includes different departments and also helps measure your progress.
Don't start a project until you get your client's approval. It is not a formality; it would help you if a dispute arises in the course of the project. Every consulting scope of work template must have the signature of your client or representative to transform the SOW into an enforceable document.
Here is a list of some services you’d need an SOW to spell out job details:
As a freelance consultant, having a written scope of work template that defines your duties and responsibilities is essential. Even though scope of work is usually a term that reminds us of large projects that involve several parties, they are equally important for freelancers who work on a smaller scale. A consultant scope of work should be discussed and finalised before starting work on any project that has specific deliverables and needs to be done on time for a certain amount of payment.
As a freelance consultant, you may be working for several different clients. You will find that most of the projects that you work on have similar requirements. Hence, you should have a consultant scope of work template that you can use as a precursor to finalise the actual consultant scope of work.
You will find that a consultant scope of work functions as the bedrock of your relationship with your client. It helps in guiding you throughout the process and ensures that there are no surprises later down the road.
Take a look at some of the advantages of having a clearly defined scope of work.
Since a project can be done in several different ways and can involve several aspects, a scope of work clarifies your duties in a project. The deliverables that you need to work on are written in a scope of work before you start working. The scope of work will also include how much you are getting paid for your services and when the payments are due.
Once you start working on a project, there will almost inevitably be disagreements between you and your client. The scope of work is a document that is prepared for these circumstances. You can use it to resolve any disputes that you occur.
A proper scope of work will have the amounts that are due to you and when they are due. It will also have your payment details. This clarifies the situation for your client and he/she can simply refer to the scope of work to know when they need to make a payment and where they need to send it to.
As a freelancer, you will be faced with situations when your clients are not paying on time. Having payment details written down in your scope of work will help you keep your clients accountable.
A scope of work will have set out the timelines for each aspect of a project. It will tell you when your deliverables are due and how much time you have to act on them. This helps to avoid the project getting away from you.
Since the timelines are clearly mentioned in a scope of work, it means that your client will not suddenly ask you why this deliverable has not been submitted yet. You can refer to the scope of work to show that there is still time left before the deliverable is due.
When you prepare your consultant scope of work, you should ensure that they contain language that encapsulates these aspects of your project. A good scope of work should necessarily have the goals of the project, the work that you need to do, the work that you do not need to do, the process for change orders, the responsibilities of various parties, the timeline for the project, the metrics to be used to measure successful completion of the project, and the terms of payment.
You should prepare your consultant scope of work in a way that it prepares you for the worst-case-scenario. This will be very useful in case there is a breakdown in the understanding between you and your client.
As a freelance consultant, you will probably have heard of the importance of agreeing upon a statement of work with your client. A statement of work lays down your duties and responsibilities. We are used to associating the phrase 'statement of work' with larger projects such as real estate development, but a statement of work is equally important for individual freelancers working on a smaller scale.
You should discuss your consulting statement of work template with your client before starting work on any project. The template should be edited, finalized and agreed upon before the project begins. Your statement of work should lay down the specific deliverables of the project and the timeline under which each deliverable needs to be performed. As a freelancer, you will be working with several different clients, but you will find that most clients have similar requirements. Hence, it is good practice to have a consulting statement of work template that can be used as a basis for the final statement of work.
The statement of work functions as the foundation of your working relationship with your client. Here are some of the main advantages of having a clearly defined consulting statement of work template.
A good scope of work lays down the money that you are owed at each step of the process. The scope of work should have your payment details and makes it easier for your client to process the payments. The client simply needs to refer to the scope of work to know when a payment is due and how it is to be made.
As a freelancer, you will often face situations in which your client is not paying or not paying on time. Since the statement of work is a written document and proof of the working relationship between you and your client, you can use it to persuade your client to make timely payments. This helps in keeping your clients accountable to their end of the bargain.
The same project can be done in several different ways. A client may have different expectations from a project than you. Agreeing upon a statement of work helps to clarify your duties and deliverables with respect to the project. In addition to your duties, the statement of work will also include the payment terms and timelines for payment.
Once you have started working on a project, you may face disagreements with your client. Having a previously agreed-upon statement of work will be useful in such circumstances because you and your client can refer to its wordings to solve any conflict.
A good statement of work lays down the timelines for each part of the project. The statement of work will tell you how soon everything needs to be done. Hence, it is a good way of keeping time and avoiding a situation in which too much needs to be done in too little time.
As the deadlines for every aspect of the project are mentioned in the statement of work, the client cannot question your pace at a later date. In such circumstances, you can refer to the time previously agreed upon in the statement of work and show that there is time left before that deliverable is due.
Once you start preparing your consulting statement of work template, you need to make sure that certain elements are included in it. A proper and professional statement of work needs to lay down the goals of the project, the responsibilities of various parties, your own deliverables, the work that does not form part of the project or is not your responsibility, the deadlines concerning the project, the metrics to be used to measure successful completion, and the terms of payment.
Remember that a statement of work is a document that needs to be prepared while keeping the worst-case-scenario in mind. The statement of work will be helpful in the event of a breakdown in understanding between your and your client.
To avoid any such mishappenings and to give a great start to you freelancing career with Bonsai's consulting statement of work template.
Or, download the standard PDF version