SOW (Scope of Work) as SOP (Standard Operating Procedure)

Agency Leadership

I was chatting with Kate, our Director of Client Services, last week and had an idea about our SOWs (scopes of work). What changes if we look at them like an SOP (standard operating procedure) for the project?

The SOW is a source of truth for the team on a given project. It is a document the team (assumes they) can rely on to understand everything the client has hired us to do. Maybe this seems obvious, but trust me, a lot can fall through the cracks! In that way, the SOW is an inflection point for us to enact change in how we function, collaborate, and deliver projects - and we can use it to our advantage!

In looking at SOWs as SOPs, we force ourselves to map out how we see the project getting done and align with the client on that process. Yes, the client is buying the outcome of our work, but every project is collaborative. They want someone they'll enjoy working with — they're also buying us and our process.

While this mindset is in draft mode for me, there's a lot we're already doing to get as granular as possible in our SOWS, so I'm confident we're on the right track. For now, here are my initial thoughts on some primary categories to include in our SOWS that will help us think about them more like SOPs:

  • Overview: What we're doing (the project) and why
  • Process: How we'll do it (and client/internal responsibilities)
  • Deliverables: The artifacts the client can expect to receive
  • Project: The details of their project and what makes it unique (features, functionality, etc)
  • Pricing: How much it costs
  • Timeline: When we will deliver key deliverables

This post originally appeared in Edition No. 091 of my newsletter. Subscribe here.

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