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Topics: PMO, Scope Management
Scope of Work Document
Hi All,

I have 2 questions related to SOW document:

1) Do we need to put our contract clauses/terms in the Scope of Work document ?

2) How extensive / details that we need to put inside the Scope of Work document ?

I have a situation whereby the SOW are sign off first while we are negotiating the Master Contract Agreement with the customer ...please advise ..

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Usually, the SOW required is finalized internally and then the Invitation to Bid (ITB) are issued and the proponents do provide fee proposals accordingly.

Those fee proposals are evaluated and then one successful bidder is chosen. Following this step, the fee proposal is negotiated with the successful proponent and then upon agreement, a final contract is signed by both parties.

Hope this helps.

Including today I lived different situations. What I have lived is contract terms are not inside the SOW while a reference is into it. Regarding the level of detail, it will depends on the product/service/result you are creating and the industry where you are working on. The document must be focused on product/service/result requirements because is the basement to define the work needed to create it and the things needed to do the work needed. Except you are creating a product which demands all requirements stated (for example some product that could put human being life in danger) remember that you will have a level of details then it will impact all the estimations. Then, it has to be considered into the contract.
Arshad -

To add to Rami's feedback:

1. You can, although these might be at a higher level and are likely going to be open to some negotiation once you get to the actual contract stage.

2. It depends. If the nature of the work is fixed and low uncertainty, you can be extremely detailed. If not, then it will be higher level.

It depends. I would say it helps.
To answer your first question, beyond referring to the contract, you may wish to add clauses that are particular to a statement of work, for example, extra liability or intellectual property.

As for the second question, you have to find the right level of details. Too little and you'll be constantly hashing out what's in and out of the scope of work with your customer. Too much and you might need a bevy of change orders to adjust the work as more information is known.
Having worked within a government organization for a number of years I have found that the Statement Of Work and the contractual conditions are best prepared and presented as separate documents referencing each other. Typically these documents have different objectives and are prepared by people with a different set of skills. The SOW deals with the technical deliverables - what needs to be done. Whereas the contract documents provide the framework within which it will be done. Generally the SOW is technical, the contract documents are administrative.

As to SOW details, as they say it depends. If you know exactly what you want and there is little opportunity for change then details is the way to go. If you only know the parameters of what you want and expect the contractor to fill in the blanks, keep it general. The general rule of thumb is that if you retain an expert to provide a service don't then tell him how to do the job.
I once had a 250 pages contract with 11 pages SOW (call it contracted SOW, so this is after negotiations) in it. The first phase of the project was to develop a detailed requirements document, which was 300 pages and took us a year (we then moved that into a design document and a product).

So, SOWs come in all shapes and sizes, sometime you have to define your way of working around it. And the contract is the contract, it is much more stable than scope, so decouple it (to your question 1).

SOW in proposal situations I have seen are normally very weak as they tend to change depending on the different proposals with different solutions in them and then they change in negotiations again until they become contract SOWs. If those are detailed, you can plan for detailed change control, and lots of bureaucracy.

So, keep it simple, the project depends more on human trust than on legal wordsmithing.

Thanks all for your feedback and comments ..really appreciate

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