Sponsored Article

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of SOWs (Part 1): The Good

This sponsored Viewpoint article has been provided by KellyOCG
The content below does not express the views or opinions of Spend Matters.
Visit http://www.kellyocg.com/ to learn more.

Spend Matters welcomes this sponsored article from Michelle Peterson, services procurement advisor, SOW, at KellyOCG.

Working with suppliers can have many benefits for your organization. It can help you quickly ramp up and scale down your workforce based on need; it can provide you with specialized services your company doesn’t have in-house, thereby eliminating the need for additional hires; and it can take certain processes off your shoulders so you can focus on your core operations.

However, to work effectively with suppliers, you need to know that the statement of work (SOW) is the cornerstone of a good client-supplier relationship. It’s your opportunity to communicate to your supplier exactly what value proposition you expect from its organization. It serves to provide visibility in terms of clearly defining the objective and scope of a purchased service, as well as providing a list of resources and anticipated expenses. In addition, by providing complete transparency as to your expectations in terms of both the deliverables and costs, you can ensure that a service remains within the scope of what you expect and provides you with the outcome you want.

Elements of a Good SOW

Many suppliers provide SOW templates for their clients to fill out. However, to ensure your SOW contains all the information necessary for the supplier to fully understand the project, you need to make sure all elements of a good SOW are addressed. These include:

  • a high-level objective statement that describes what you, the stakeholder, hope to achieve with this project
  • a more in-depth description of the project, which allows the supplier to view the desired outcome from your perspective
  • if necessary due to the use of specific industry terminology, a further description in simple language
  • clearly specified start and end dates
  • clearly stated and defined deliverables, ideally accompanied by target dates and milestones for completion
  • a list of resources, named with titles, rates, and time allocated to the project
  • a detailed overview of all potential and anticipated expenses
  • a not-to-exceed (NTE) total dollar value of the project

If your SOW is lacking in one or more of these elements, it can potentially be misinterpreted — and that more often than not results in inefficiency, waste and a failure to adhere to policies, as we’ll see in Parts 2 and 3 of this series.

By investing time and effort into composing a clear, comprehensive and strong SOW, you can greatly enhance the probability of the supplier providing you with the business outcome you want while remaining within time and budget constraints.

Discuss this:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *