The Statement of Objectives (SOO) identifies the broad, basic, top-level objectives of an acquisition/procurement and is used as a focusing tool for both the Government and offeror’s. In a competitive source selection environment a SOO is an integral part of the Request for Proposal (RFP) streamlined development process. A SOO supplements a requirements document (ICD, CDD, performance based Government requirements document) and is developed after performing a risk assessment that highlights the high and moderate risks in the areas of business, programmatic, and technical identified on the program against the requirement document. 
A SOO is developed to be compatible with; Initial Capabilities Document (ICD); programmatic direction from the Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM), Acquisition Strategy, and Acquisition Plan; technical requirements from system specifications; and the draft Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and dictionary. The SOO is then used, by offeror’s, to develop the Contractor Statement of Work (CSOW), the Contract Work Breakdown Structure (CWBS), the Integrated Master Schedule (IMS), and other documents supporting and defining the contractors proposed effort. 
SOO content should be tailored to the type and phase of the program. The key is to keep the SOO clear, concise, and provide potential offeror’s with enough information and detail to structure a sound program, designed to be executable and satisfy Government objectives. The SOO as a part of the RFP or solicitation has value to both industry and the government. 
The following are steps that are an integral part of developing the SOO: 
- Conduct market research to determine whether commercial items or non-developmental items are available to meet program requirements.
- Review the requirements documents which authorize the program, various DoD, services, joint services requirements documents for program management and acquisition management impacts to the program.
- Prepare a bibliography citing the specific portions of all applicable governing instructions, directives, specifications and standards with which the program must comply.
- Develop the program objectives by completing a risk assessment that highlights the high and moderate risks in the areas of business, programmatic, and technical identified on the program based on the requirements in the requirements document.
- Draft the Statement of Objectives for review
Suggested SOO format:
- Overall Program Objectives
- Multi-Phased Program
- One Program, Multi-Contractor
- One Phase Contract
- Contract Objectives
- Objectives in paragraph 2.0 are traceable to level 0 WBS elements.
- For multi-phase programs, describe objectives for each phase in a format similar to an indentured list (clearly indicate which phases are part of the anticipated contract and any phases that will involve separate contracts).
- Program Management Objectives
- The management objectives are to allow the offeror the maximum flexibility to innovatively manage the projected schedule, performance, risks, warranties, subcontracts, and data to provide the goods or services that satisfies the government’s performance requirements. This is tailored to meet the specific program needs.
- Engineering Objectives
- Logistics Objectives
- The SOO should not address each WBS element, but each WBS element should be traceable to something in the SOO.
- Remember a SOO is NOT a Statement of Work (SOW), it results from the identification of risks based on the requirements document.
- See Examples of Software SOO
AcqLinks and References:
-  Guide: Statement of Objectives Information Guide – 20 Jun 03
- Mil-HDBK 245D “Handbook for the Preparation of Statement of Work” – 1996