Importance Of Scope Of Work | 3 Tips To Write Scope Of Work

Importance Of Scope of work

Importance Of Scope Of  Work

Congratulations! You have finally scored a project and turned a potential client into a patron. You are pumped to deploy your resources and get rolling. But, hold your horses. There’s one final step you need to complete before getting the show started: writing a Scope of Work (SOW) document. This responsibility comes under that of the project manager’s and is written after a deal is sealed and all options, variations, and specifics of the deal are finalized.

The importance of scope of work document can be expressed by the fact that it is the final document shared between both parties before the start of any project, gig, etc. Hence, the agreement of both parties on this document is vital in ensuring the smooth completion of the task at hand.

What Is Scope Of Work?

What is scope of work

Scope of work (SOW) is a formal document written by the service provider to clarify his obligations to the client. It is meant to describe the objectives, timeline, milestones, and possible outcomes of the deal. Simply put, SOW is a reference guide set up before the start of any project and is referred back to, in case of any disputes and contentions. 

Importance Of Scope Of Work document

Writing a clear Sow is arguably the most crucial part of the discovery phase of a project. It is the project manager’s bread and butter. One may see it as just a formality, but it can save one from hours and hours of work if done correctly. 

Following are some of many ways a scope of work document can come in handy

Importance of Sow document

Scope Creep

One truly understands the importance of scope of work when he experiences scope creep. Its a problem spread far and wide, and all project managers come across this problem every now and then. A detailed scope of work (SOW) can act as a lifesaver in such situations. A client can never threaten you of a bad review to get any extra task done if a detailed SOW document has been set up prior to the start of work. Not only will it save you from doing hours of unanticipated work, but it can also come in handy in maintaining good relations with the clients.

Hedge Against Miscommunication

Another important reason to write a proper SOW document is that it acts as a hedge against miscommunication. An SOW might clear up any residual confusions of clients and your team members too. Doing this will help each team member know what his role exactly is and what he needs to prepare about beforehand.

Setting The Expectations

An SOW document also sets the expectations of the clients. By defining what possible outcomes of the service you provide, the client is witnessing a reality check and being prepared for what might come his way. This takes the liability off of you and improves transparency.

It may seem easy from far but it truly is consuming and hectic as the slightest of errors in SOW can turn into big issues later on, whose complete liability is on the pm or tech lead’s head so extra care should be put in when writing one. 

Tips To Write Scope Of Work Document Effectively

Tips To write Scope Of Work Document Effectively

To have a detailed look at how to write an SOW document you can go through the article here but if if you already have an idea of how it’s written you can go through these refresher tips 

Be Specific

The single most important tip about writing an SOW document tip is being specific. The use of “maybe”, “can be” etc. should be minimal as the project variations have already been finalized at the time of writing SOW.

For example, instead of mentioning. 

“The image designs can be revised few times upon client’s feedback before making the site live.”

This should be mentioned. 

“Before making the site live on 8th September, designs can be revised 2 times upon client’s feedback, after which each revision will be charged at an hourly rate of $30.”

Detailing Is Good  

The importance of this point cannot be stressed enough. Every detail you add improves your chances of avoiding any conflicts in the future. So mention figures, include charts, specify the people responsible as this will reap benefits you can’t even imagine 

Get Agreement 

An SOW is not a legal but formal document, but it can be turned into a legal document if you get the agreement and signature of all stakeholders. This legal document can now even be used as your defense in legal issues. 


In a nutshell, the SOW document is not a formality but a necessity. Although it might consume plenty of resources and seem hectic, but it’s all worth it as this document can literally make or break a project. Moreover, the guidelines discussed should be followed; the addition of graphs, figures, and names adds to the SOW. Also, the SOW should always be written in third person with minimal use of pronouns.