A scope of work or SOW, is a descriptive document or working agreement that contains all information regarding the size of a project, the goals a team should accomplish by the end of the project and steps required to complete the project.

You might create an SOW when multiple parties are working together on the project and there are certain requirements to meet. This document usually includes of an introduction, objective overview, an outline of the expected work and tasks, schedule for deliverables, adoption plan and conclusion or sign off.

Usually, a scope of work has these standard components:

  • Project goals: This includes all goals intended for the team to reach as the project progresses, as well as when it completes.
  • Timeline: This includes the exact timeframe for the project’s beginning and end, including when specific tasks should start and complete.
  • Expected results: This includes specific outcomes intended to take place by the completion of the project.
  • Deliverables: This includes the exact product or products the project should deliver by its completion.
  • Conditions: This includes any stipulations the team should abide by or work under or requirements to meet.
  • Financial information: This includes accounting data, such as how much the project may cost to complete, how much each team member is going to earn and how and when they’re going to be paid.
  • Management: This includes information regarding administrative details, such as who’s responsible for approving financial decisions or who can agree to specific terms.