Writing a Statement of Work (SOW

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Department of Administrative Services

State Procurement Office
Presented by:

Melissa Canfield, Procurement Compliance Analyst

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Objectives
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Describe the differences between a statement of work, scope of work, and specification. Identify the elements to consider when writing the final contract statement of work. Write a basic statement of work.

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What is the Scope of Work?
“The purpose of the scope of work is to describe the overall project purpose and specific objectives of the requirement to help the contractor understand the magnitude of the anticipated effort.” - Peter S. Cole
How to Write a Statement of Work

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OAR 125-020-0140 (24)

What is a Statement of Work?
A written statement that specifically describes…
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Phases of work or services, major tasks, or areas of responsibility. Specific objectives that the Contractor must attain. The deliverables that the Contractor must provide. A stated schedule of deliverables aligned with payments.

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OAR 137-030-0000 (36)

What is a Specification?
“Any description of the physical or functional characteristics, or of the nature of a supply, service or construction item, including any requirement for inspecting, testing, or preparing a supply, service, or construction item for delivery and the quantities or qualities of materials to be furnished under the Contract. Specifications generally will state the result to be obtained and may, on occasion, describe the method and manner of doing the Work to be performed.”

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Comparison

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The contractor uses it to develop and price their proposals. The agency uses it to evaluate the bids or proposals.

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After award, it is the basis for contractor performance. Provides how changes can take place with the work being delivered.

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Continued

Comparison

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Establishes the performance standards and a contractual baseline. Heart of the solicitation action. Provides a proposed schedule for delivery.

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Details performance standards and contractual obligations. Heart of the contractual obligations. Solidifies the delivery schedule.

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Continued

Comparison

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Estimates cost.

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Establishes cost and ties payment to the deliverables. Communicates with specific language to all stakeholders.

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Communicates clearly to all potential bidders/proposers.

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Continued

Comparison

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Provides objectives and expectations. Establishes an understanding of a clear & concise framework.

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Defines the objectives and expectations. Sets and defines a clear & concise framework.

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Planning and Preparation
Some questions to ask before writing the scope of work are:
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What is the agency trying to achieve? What is the use, needed functionality, or outcome expected? What is the existing environment or framework that must be considered?

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Planning and Preparation
Steps to determine procurement objective:
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Analyze the market
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the competitive climate, resources or research availability on the product or service. the agency’s intended use for the product or services, how often it will be used, and the quantity of the item needed.

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Gather and analyze data
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Objectives continued…

Planning and Preparation
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Analyze any statutes, rules, policies, procedures, or legislative action that might affect the procurement. Analyze the tasks necessary to complete the scope of work drafting process. Analyze the current organizational framework to understand the need. Analyze what controls need to be in place to ensure successful performance.

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Writing the Statement of Work
A well-written SOW should be able to meet the SMART test.
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S = specific M = measurable A = accountable R = reasonable T = time-based

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Deliverable-based SOW
Deliverables are defined as anything that can be physically delivered or validates the work requirements have been met.
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A prototype A design A report Computer software Training class

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Deliverable-based SOW
Deliverables are key to measuring successful work requirement outcomes.
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Describe each deliverable fully. Clearly identify when the deliverable must be met. Deliverables should signify the a completion of a task or group of tasks. Tie acceptance of work & payment to the deliverables identified in the SOW.

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Developing a “Good” Deliverable
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Binary (pass fail) Unique Complete (stands alone) Unary (no compound or multiple requirements) Observable or measurable Testable Unambiguous Purpose Priority Risk (added after technical assessment)

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Model format

Writing the Statement of Work
Part I. General Information Part II. Work (Tasks); Acceptance Criteria; Deliverables; Delivery Schedule Part III. Special Considerations Part IV. Payment Provisions Part V. Travel and Other Expenses

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Tips

Writing the Statement of Work
Although time may be short, these tips may minimize problems once the contract is in place.
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Organize paragraphs Keep sentences short and concise Use logical format, sequenced & numbered Do not use bullets Use easy to read font Have 3rd party proofread and edit your SOW

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Common Problems

Writing the Statement of Work
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Contradictory terms or statements = confusion of SOW requirements. Ambiguity = project delays, amendments, cost overruns and/or less desirable outcomes. Too many acronyms = confusion and difficult reading Minimal active voice = questions who needs to take action. Phrases or words that have multiple meanings = more confusion and ambiguity.

Courts usually favor the contractor when ambiguity or inconsistencies exist in the SOW. 19

Summary

A well-written statement of work …
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Meets the SMART test. Provides a complete definition of the work requirements. Withstands changes in staffing – both contractor and public agency. Minimizes interpretation errors. Details obligations, expectations & deliverables. Identifies acceptance criteria to ensure desired outcomes are achieved. Ties deliverables to contractor payments.

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Quality
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The Definition of Quality is:

100% Conformance to the Deliverables!

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