Statement of Work

Skill level: Beginner/intermediate


A statement of work (SOW) is a defining statement created at the beginning of any contract or project to define what is and is not to be done. The statement of work generally includes the following information:

  • Scope of work – The tasks that have to be performed at a detailed level.
  • Time period for the work to be accomplished.
  • Schedule of deliverables – A list of exactly what must be done and when. It may be a list of reports or milestones.
  • Applicable standards – Specific standards that need to be adhered to in fulfilling the contract.
  • Acceptance criteria – How the receiver will determine if the service is acceptable and the sampling method to be used. Acceptance criteria should be quantitative and therefore measurable.
  • Payment schedule – When payment will be made and how much will be made. This may include a clause stating deductions for low quality or lateness.
  • Definitions – Operational definitions that are needed to make qualitative element quantitative.
  • Methods of communication – Which forms of communication shall be used for official communication, particularly for any material modifications to the SOW.


  • Provides precise requirements
  • Eliminates confusion

How to Use

An SOW can come in different formats, depending upon the purpose or parties involved. The key is to capture as much information as possible to minimize ambiguities during delivery and post-delivery activities.

Relevant Definitions

Not Applicable


John Smith and up to two employees or subcontractors will instruct approximately seventy-five personnel from XYZ Corporation in basic confined space safety. This shall be completed at:

XYZ Corporate Headquarters
XXX Meadow Lane
Junction City, KS 66441

The training will be completed in two classes lasting no less than four hours, and no more than 4.5 hours, on 21 July 2010.S

John Smith shall provide a paper copy of all training material, to include a paper copy of all testing materials and a workbook, to John Doe no later than close of business on 21 June 2010. He shall also provide a copy of all testing materials and a workbook for each student on the day of training. The training material must be approved by Bob Gallagher based on having all “Go” items in the checklist below.


Bob Gallagher shall inspect the training based upon test scores. A minimum of 75 percent of the trained personnel (57) must earn a score of 75 percent or better. A reduction of 5 percent of the agreed payment shall be deducted for every 1 percent failing to meet the 75 percent grade mark.

XYZ Corporation shall provide a computer-based projector, a 40-seat classroom, and the personnel to be trained. XYZ shall pay $150 per student for the training. The initial payment of 25 percent shall be paid to John Smith upon acceptance of the single copy of the training materials. The payment shall be by written check. A second payment of 25% shall be made upon John Smith completing set up on the morning of the training. The remainder of the payment shall be made no more than 10 days after the completion of the training.

Training is anticipated for 75 students and payments shall be made based on the expected number of students.  XYZ Corporation shall pay for no less than 70 students. XYZ may add up to 10 students with no notice.

All definitions to be used will be provided by XYZ Corporation. Communication concerning this work shall be by email only.


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