The Importance of a Well-Written Scope of Work

December 19, 2016

A scope of work (SOW) can help make or break an installation and implementation – financially that is.  Not clearly defining what is and is NOT included in a complex technology implementation leads to cost overages. It can also lead to a breakdown of customer and solution provider relationships.  In other words, this miscommunication can cause a customer to leave because of a misunderstanding. Or worse, the customer can speak badly about you to others.

Take a look at what SalesDoc Architect did for Strategic Products and Services (SPS, now a part of ConvergeOne).  As a global, multi-vendor systems integrator of business communication solutions, SPS knows well the need for accurate scopes of work.  With over 20 years of profitable growth and offices in 30+ North American cities, they’ve seen their fair share of good and bad SOWs.

Everything Matches

As Maureen Merola, Sales Director for SME East pointed out, scopes of work used to have no consistency.  The sales reps just wrote their own.  This did not make project management happy.  Jody GrandPre, Mid-markets Vice President, agreed, saying the biggest problem with the scope of work was that “there was no consistency.  They looked different from every Account Executive and most of the time they were not correct.  They didn’t match what was sold.”

One of the biggest benefits SDA provides SPS is the ability to produce better scopes of work.  SDA enables account executives to generate consistent SOWs that precisely match what’s being sold. Because they’re generated in Microsoft Word, they can be further modified to describe complicated and unusual implementations.   The scopes of work now list out exactly what will be installed so that everyone is on the same page.  This saves time and money and eliminates misunderstandings. Said GrandPre, “Customers are not looking at a scope of work of something they are not buying or we are not implementing. To me, that has been the biggest thing – the scopes of work match the configuration of what we are installing.”

An inaccurate or non-existent SOW causes at least two issues.  First, if you have a SOW that doesn’t match what’s being sold, the customer might require you to do something that was not planned for originally. Second, misunderstandings can occur between the project manager, account executives, and customers, resulting in lots of wasted time.   As one sales executive said, “An accurate SOW resolves those issues, and sets the stage for a smooth transition from the sales team to the implementation team.”


Read More about Scopes of Work

Read more on this topic in Idea Library posts, Raising the Bar on Technical Scopes of Work and Eliminating Scope Creep with Tigerpaw and SDA.


Excerpted from the Client Success Story, “Strategic Products and Services Growing with SalesDoc Architect.”