Here is how a good statement of work can guarantee project success…
In my previous article, I have defined the concept of the statement of work. I also talk about some of the steps that you need to follow in order to prepare a statement of work. In this article, I want to continue with some of the steps that you need to take in order to prepare a statement of work. Follow me as we look at this together.
#1 Consistent terminology
One more thing that you need to put on the back of your mind while preparing the document is that you are going to work with people from various disciplines. This set of people may not understand you when you start speaking your jargon.
You have to use a language that every stakeholder will understand. The language must be consistent and it must be very simple for an ordinary person to understand. The language must be consistent and it must be very simple for an ordinary person to understand.
#2 External contract
One more thing to do while preparing a statement of work for a project is to identify if the project can be carried out successfully by team members within the organisation or you have to make use of external suppliers in executing the project.
This will help you to seek for the external contractors early enough so that it will not affect the deadline for the commencement of the project.
In determining whether external sellers will be needed, you have to determine the external seller’s performance requirement as well as knowing if the external performer will have a problem after sales service. Of course, this comes with a price.
#3 Acceptance criteria
In a way, no standard is no standard. If you do not set the standard for your project, you will accept anything that comes. You have to have an acceptable standard that all your external contractors can follow.
This will help you to pencil down suppliers who have the track record and can meet up with your established standards.
#4 Key elements
There are some basic key elements that must not be missing in an ideal statement of work. One of it is that it must have a clear identification of the Project name as well as the project identification numbers.
It must also have the summary of work to be carried out as well as the benefits that the organisation is going to derive if the work is been carried out successfully. This will help you to a very large extent to focus on the bigger picture.
#5 Major deliverables
As part of the steps towards preparing your statement of work, you need to highlight the major deliverable that must be achieved before you can boldly say that your project is complete.
This will help you not to leave anything out as far as the results that you are trying to get at the end of the day is concerned.
Identifying the major deliverable will also help you to have a rough estimate of the date that you expect the project to end.
#6 Resource requirements
You have to know all that is required in order to achieve all the deliverables of your project. This actually includes every person, group as well as materials that you need to combine in order to achieve the deliverables of your project.
After you identified all the resources that you need for your project, you need to provide a brief description of what they will be doing.
This will serve as a reference point for them to refer to what they need more clarification on their job roles.
The last part of this is to state the number of hours that each of the resources will have to devote to the work. This will help them to be able to calculate the total duration of your project as well as the total cost estimate for the entire project.
#7 Departmental commitment
One other factor that needed to be ironed out is the issue of resources coming from other departments to join the project team. From the onset, while initiating the project, you have to know the level of commitment of the resources.
You will also identify what is likely to happen if those resources are not available or they fail to deliver as expected.
This has to include any event or activity that has the potential of affecting the time of completion of the project. There are three levels of risks in a project which includes low, medium and high risks. You have to identify these risks and have a plan of action on how to address them if they ever surfaced at all.
You also have to pay attention to any assumption that you have made in the course of planning your project. You might have assumed that your Programmer will be available as soon as the project commences but he happens to tender his letter of resignation thereafter.
All this must be envisaged ahead if you do not want to fail as a Project Manager.
#8 Completion criteria
As part of your statement of work, you have to describe the end of your project. You must describe all activities that needed to happen before all stakeholders can agree that the project has been brought to a logical conclusion.
As part of the completion criteria, you also have to list out all outstanding issues that have not been completed as at the time that the project kicks off in earnest.
#9 Third party review
On the last note, after you might have completed the project statement, you have to submit it to the third party or expert judgement review. This is to double check that you have actually done the right thing.
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