Steps for a Clear Statement of Work

Steps for a Clear Statement of Work

With every contract you enter as an entrepreneur, you must create a clear Statement of Work.

This principle should hold true whether you are the person asking for work or performing the work. Let us analyze systematically the various trivialities and the questions that should pertain you when you receive a project brief.

Document your Statement of Work Clearly and Concisely

Outline and define the details.

If you are an entrepreneur, it is vital that when you are receiving a statement of work that you learn as much you can about the minute details of the deal as you can. Young entrepreneurs that have creative businesses (freelancers, graphic designers, web designers, industrial designers) have a lot of creativity and the dynamic ability up their sleeves. If you are working for them on a project, clear each and everything about all the formats of the files, the size of the project, the software to be used, the in-app purchases to be made, the licenses to be bought and in general the trivial intricacies of the project. These questions should be asked at the beginning to avoid any misconceptions.

Confirm and clarify the deadline.

Let us get real; there is no such thing as an absolute deadline. This is not as much a question as much as it is a statement that you should put before the project manager while receiving the statement of work.

Maybe the designing of the PDF files will take more than one week instead of two days, maybe the rendering of the graphics will take more than a few hours instead of one hour, maybe the website servers will take a day to go online instead of minutes.

If you are managing the project from either side make sure you discuss any firm deadlines and when possible try to build in some leeway. Talk with your internal team as well as and the team in the other firm about the flexibility of the deadline and make sure everyone is aligned and has similar expectations.

Allocation of Labor.

When the case arises that labor needs to be allocated to a project you should be up-front and tell your counterpart whom you will need on your team and what those people will be doing so that there is no confusion and wrong allocation of the resources.

This will do two things: it will renew the confidence of the project manager in your capabilities, and it will put the image of your dexterity in your mind.

Allocation of funds.

You should ask during the briefing, clearly and without any monetary greed, about the money that is being invested in the project so that you can buy and try the software, hardware, firmware and the necessary resources accordingly. Make it clear during the briefing that you do not plan to keep any of the project funds for yourself and the only reason you are asking the question about the money is so that you can allocate the resources properly.

Competitors in the market.

When it comes to entrepreneurship, an idea and its implementation are what matters. If the idea is being developed or is developed already by a competitor, it is not worthy to mull over it. Instead, one should focus on a new idea. So ask the question about the viability, the originality and the competitiveness of the project that you are about to undertake.

Good fences make good neighbors

A Friend of mine used to tell me to make sure to get as many of the performance aspects into a Statement of Work because the more detail you share in the relationship, the more each side will trust each other and ultimately be able to work together if the going gets tough. He used to say – “Good fences Make good neighbors.”


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