Scope of Work vs. Statement of Work
When a large government or corporate entity publicizes or issues a request for proposals or request for quotes, it includes specific information. This information must provide sufficient details for applicable respondents to determine if the RFP or RFQ is a good fit and, if so, how to respond. Inclusion of a statement of work with a detailed scope of work delivers that necessary information.
The statement of work in an RFP or RFQ defines a project's goals, deliverables and performance criteria. A scope of work, included in the statement of work, describes the specific tasks the contractor will perform to meet objectives. The statement of work is not set in stone. A company identifying an issue that it can help a potential customer solve may send over an unsolicited proposal that includes a statement of work from the company's perspective. Whether solicited or unsolicited, facets of a statement or scope of work are generally negotiable.
A statement of work is also referred to as an SOW, especially in government contracting. An SOW provides a definition of requirement -- a description of the work requested, a timeline, performance criteria, schedule of deliverables, travel requirements, location and special skills. This information enables the responding contractor or service provider to provide a proposal and cost estimate. A less-formal SOW may use a purchase order instead of a contract. The statement of work will list requirements and specifications as line items and may include a brief paragraph about qualifications and delivery.
The scope of work explains the services that the winning vendor will provide on a particular project and the work that will be performed under a contractual agreement. The scope of work lists performance requirements, both qualitative and quantitative, and often references specifications, notices and drawings, if construction or design-related. The scope of work describes how the work will be divided, with specific tasks generally listed with their deadlines. The task descriptions may include methods used.
The statement of work always includes a project purpose and description. For professional service firms, an SOW often is the name used for the proposal document a client signs to start a project. All comprehensive statements of work include a scope of work. The scope of work provides the particular details such as organizational charts for the individuals assigned to the project, lists of tools and equipment and identification of additional resources.