How to Write a Contractor Scope of Work

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Attracting new business is a goal business set for themselves. When an opportunity presents itself for a business to take on a new project, the first activity typically involves writing a scope of work. The scope of work is usually part of a contract that states exactly what the contractor intends to do to complete a project for a client. The scope of work provides the guidelines for both the contractor and the client, which eliminates confusion and clarifies expectations for the project.

Establish why the client needs the project and how you plan to execute it. Include a brief description of what the project will result in, whether it’s a written report, a presentation or something material. Be clear about the client’s involvement during the process if her input or cooperation is necessary to conclude the project.

Identify the steps that the project involves. Put them in logical order, from the beginning of the project to the completion. When you're finished, number them sequentially. If a step has smaller, separate steps under the main one, use an outline format to number and letter them. When the client reads a scope of work, she can refer to the numbering instead of having to flip through pages to find the content.

Make a time line to complete each phase of the project. Some projects involve multiple payments before a new step begins. Break down the beginning and ending of each phase and explain when you expect the payment to begin the next step.

Write the scope of work as clearly and concisely as possible. A scope of work that is wordy takes longer to read and may be harder to comprehend than a simple one. If you use bullets, use numbered bullets instead of graphic symbols to make referencing the points easier. Use active voice instead of passive voice. Active voice also helps you write more specifically.

Ask a colleague to review the scope of work for omissions, spelling or grammar errors. Make any additions or changes to improve your scope of work.

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About the Author

Jackie Johnson is a published writer and professional blogger, and has a degree in English from Arizona State University. Her background in real estate analysis prepared her for objective thinking, researching and writing.

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