A scope of work is the agreement of the services you will provide and deliver as part of your creative project. This document includes all the most essential elements of your project foundation, including tasks, assignments, and deliverables. To achieve the project goal, they define what needs to be done.
Scope of work vs. Statement of work
Statements of work (SOWs) lay a foundation for creative projects. Among the contents are goals, timelines, schedules, and payment agreements. You should also include a scope of work in your SOW.
Within the creative industry, there is a debate about the difference between SOW and scope of work. Some argue that the documents are identical, while others say they are connected but different.
As we like to think of it, a scope of work is a section within your statement of work. Your SOW outlines all the criteria to make a project successful, and your scope of work details how you’ll accomplish this. For example, if the project goal is to redesign a website, then the scope of work might include information about creating a new sitemap or better mapping out an ideal user flow.
Regardless of whether you believe a scope of work and a statement of work are the same or not, they both serve the same purpose, to fulfill the project goals.
A guide to writing a scope of work
Every scope of work is unique, just like any design document. Let’s dive deeper into the elements of your scope of work, with examples. Have you already started writing? Our scope of work template is easy to use!
Project scope management process
1. Plan scope management
In this phase, you define, manage, validate, and control the scope of the project by creating a scope management plan. During this step, you will have to gather input from stakeholders and review the project charter.
2. Collect requirements
It is estimated that 47% of unsuccessful projects fail due to poor requirements management, according to PMI. In order to accurately predict costs and ensure that deliverables meet the expectations of your stakeholders, you must know the exact requirements for the project before you can start defining it.
3. Define the scope
For example, you may initially have been tasked with building a landing page for a white paper that includes a simple form, but once the project is underway, stakeholders change the project’s parameters to include a fully animated embedded video, an interactive quiz, and a customer service bot. Suddenly, a project that should have taken a week turns into something that takes well over six months due to continual additions.
4. Create the work breakdown structure
The first step is to determine which product or deliverable you will be completing at the end of your project. Then, divide those deliverables or products into their component deliverables, and then further divide those into their component deliverables or products. Ultimately, the result is an overview of the larger project and its smaller deliverables.
5. Validate scope
In order to validate scope, you will need a breakdown of the project’s deliverables. This is an established structure of who needs to approve each part of the project. There’s nothing worse than finishing a deliverable and not knowing who needs to sign off on it. In order to begin the project, decide who has the authority to approve deliverables.
6. Control scope
In our discussion of the change control process earlier, we discussed what that change control process looks like. People will constantly want to add or change your project-you must define how they can propose changes, how to determine whether the proposed change will have an impact, and how to decide whether to accept the change. As a result, this process allows your project to remain on track while still allowing for necessary changes.
Scope definition involves much more than scribbling some project characteristics on a sticky note. The above steps and the templates will make preparing for projects much easier.