How SOW can help you organize your business and improve your workflow

July 23, 2021

Do you like writing proposals? Do your clients like reading proposals? Unfortunately, even though the answer is probably “no” for both, it is a fact that proposals are still an important part of your business.

If you think that your clients have all the time in the world to read your 10-page proposal thoroughly, you need to think again. They usually scan through your proposal to find the price of your services and products. So, why do you want to trouble yourself and your client by creating proposals that no one will read?

That’s how SOW can help you organize your business. You can start a fruitful journey of thousand miles with your clients using a single step. For successfully managing a project or client, a Statement of Work (SOW) is probably the first step. It includes everything that goes into making a project successful.

What is a Statement of Work?

A statement of work is a project and contract management document that outlines the project’s work requirement, project-specific services, timelines, expected work schedule, work processes, and other project planning details. 

It ensures that the work for a project is done as per the prescribed guidelines and expectations. Contractors or collaborators outside your organization use the SOW as a guide to work during a specific project.

You can use statements of work in a wide variety of projects, including visual designs made by graphic artists to build contracts. By using a statement of work example or template, you can kick off a particularly high-stake project without missing out on essential projects.

9 perks of utilizing SOW to organize your business

With COVID-19 creating havoc and forcing businesses to work from home, staying organized is essential for effective project management and success. And, that’s precisely what SOW aims to achieve. So, if you wonder how SOW can help you organize your business, keep reading to find out.

It puts all your details in one centralized place

When collaborating with team members scattered around the world, having information stored in many places can impact productivity and reduce the smooth running of your business activities.

As your project requires people from different departments, it can become chaotic when many people work on the same project. It leaves your project’s data disorganized and makes it difficult to access critical information.

That’s why businesses large or small are shifting their focus on creating a statement of work as it brings all your project’s details under one roof. From outlining activities and elements to giving details, it’s an excellent professional document to keep your project teams organized. Having every project detail under one centralized place helps your team refer back to any document throughout your project’s lifecycle.

With employees spending 2.5 hours per day searching for information, keeping all project-related documents organized can complete a project faster.

It helps in structuring your project plan

Whether your employees work in a remote environment or an office set-up, the structure of your project is essential. Suppose your employees have to wait for someone else to log in first to get access to a particular document for completing a job-specific task. In that case, it results in frustration and lowers your productivity.

As SOW is written before creating a project plan, it can take care of these issues. You will already have a blueprint of who’s available and who’s not. SOWs can bring structure to your project planning necessary to complete your project as per requirement while meeting your project deadlines.

It allows you to track your project’s progress

With SOW in place, your team members stay organized because they have detailed information on who is carrying out which task and how they should accomplish their tasks. The statement of work gives an overview of what actions are required and when they are required.

When you follow a dedicated process for completing a project, it’s bound to be successful.
As your SOW clearly outlines the deadlines and timelines, your team members can work accordingly. It helps you to track your project’s progress.

You no longer have to remind your team members about the deadlines as all dates are mentioned in the SOW you share with them. It helps team members plan their activities and time to meet up the project’s expectations.

Also, it prevents conflicts from occurring, keeps everyone involved in your project and on the same page. This can minimize confusion.

It helps in collaboration and communication

Effective communication is the building block of team members separated by different time zones. Though you may be conducting daily or weekly video calls and sharing work requirements through email or communication tools, there may be instances where a team member can require clarification on a particular part of a project.

Instead of wasting time explaining the requirement, again and again, it’s always better to provide project details and specifications in a written format. And that’s another way of how SOW can help you organize your business.

Instead of using other communication channels explaining your project’s requirements, you can utilize that time to complete more valuable conversations. This improves conversations with stakeholders and clients.

It reduces risks

With a statement of work, you know even before starting the project what you’re signing for. It will help you prepare better for an upcoming project and the challenges you’re likely to experience.

Using this information, you can know whether you will deliver as per expectation and if you require any training to excel at your work.

Using SOW, you get a sneak-peak into the potential bottlenecks, and it prepares you to overcome every roadblock that comes your way. That way, you have all the resources at hand before your project commences.

It removes instances of conflicts

The failure to write or overlook a statement of work is often a reason why there may be a potential conflict with a client. For example, if your client debates on including a landing page along with a banner ad for their marketing campaign, you can show your SOW, which clearly states the inclusion of only banner ads.

That way, SOW reduces ambiguity and ensures that there exists no gap in understanding what the client has agreed to. This helps you organize your workflow and business processes as you allocate resources and assign tasks based on what is written in your statement of work.

However, the idea of SoW is not to catch your client or prove them wrong but to state what you’re doing, how you’re doing, and the cost associated with it.

It keeps your team members on the same page

Having a detailed SOW ensures that all your team members are updated and are on the same page about project specifications and requirements.

That way, you ensure that your team is working on tasks relevant to the aspects of your current project and not going out of scope for fulfilling a project-specific duty.

Everyone in your team has access to the goals, framework, and objectives of a project that helps guide team members to complete a project within the deadline.

It avoids scope creep

Poorly planned extension of projects may kill the worth of an excellent project. Without a statement of work, it becomes too easy to fall prey to the notorious scope creep. A client keeps on adding additional services to an existing project without extending deadlines or increasing your payment in a scope creep.

But when you have SOW signed by your client, you can ask for payment for every additional work you complete for them. You can create another version of the same SOW to reflect changes as per your client’s requirements.

Interestingly, you can directly list activities or work you don’t agree to perform, thus removing unnecessary roadblocks and disruptions in your project.

It reduces billing squabbles

SOW can go a long way to better manage your accounts and finances and help you reduce billing squabbles. Using a statement of work, you can keep your clients accountable for paying you.

As your client will be signing it, SOW becomes a contract. Say goodbye to the fear that your client may not pay. This facilitates getting paid in full and on time. Your client is legally bound to make payments for services you rendered without delaying payment for any reason.

Conclusion

SOW is a go-to document that helps your team make day-to-day decisions. Apart from showing what you’ve committed to delivering, a statement of work can show what you have not agreed upon.

So, by handing over an easy to comprehend document consisting of every project detail, your client and team members will have fewer questions to ask, making your communication more efficient.

How SOW can help you organize your business is because by keeping these benefits at the forefront of your efforts, you can organize your project while ensuring optimal performance. When your team has clarity over the work they are doing and clients have clarity over what they can expect, the sky will be the limit to accomplish much more in a short duration of time.

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