The Statement of Work (SOW) is a document that enables offeror’s to clearly understand the government’s needs for the work to be done in developing or producing the goods or services to be delivered by a contractor. It defines (either directly or by reference to other documents) all work (non-specification) performance requirements for a contractor. It also facilitates the preparation of a proposal and aids the Government in conduct of the source selection and contract administration after award.
Checklist for a Statement of Work (SOW)
- Is the SOW consistent with all sections of the Request for Proposal (RFP)?
- Is the SOW organized under the following major headings?
- APPLICABLE DOCUMENTS
- Is the “SCOPE” section free of everything that could be interpreted as:
- Directions to the contractor to perform work tasks,
- Specification of data requirements, and
- Description of deliverable products?
- Do documents listed in Section 2 have the specific version listed, along with other publication facts such as document numbers and dates where applicable?
- Are all of the documents listed in section 2 actually cited?
- When documents are cited, are only the specific sections necessary to do the work cited?
- Is the document clear and complete enough for the contractor to estimate the probable cost and identify all resources needed to do the work?
- Is there no question as to whether the contractor has been told what specific tasks to perform?
- Are the binding requirements clearly distinguishable from the background information?
- Is the SOW free of “how to” requirements?
- Is the SOW free of statements that order or describe data items?
- Is the SOW free of references to Data Item Descriptions (DID)?
- Is the SOW free of proposal requirements and evaluation factors?
- Is the SOW free of business management matters that belong in the other contract sections, like requirements for time of performance?
- Is the SOW free of specifications and amendments to specifications for equipment, parts, materials or other goods?
- Is the SOW free of references to Government in-house management instructions?
- Is the SOW free of requirements that cite Government specifications or standards?
- Is the SOW free of requirements that cite handbooks, service regulations, technical orders, or any other Government document not specifically written according to DoD standards?
- Does the title page contain the title, preparation date, procurement request number or contract number, revision number, date, and identity of the preparing organization?
- If the document exceeds five pages, does it have a table of contents? If so, is the table correct?
- Does the SOW require the delivery of a product or result other than just periodic progress reports?
- Does each paragraph cover only one requirement?
- Does each paragraph and subparagraph have a title?
- Is the SOW free of pronouns with ambiguous antecedents?
- Is the terminology consistent throughout the entire package?
- Have you double-checked all of the “shall’s” and “will’s”? Are you sure there are no “any’s” and “or’s” that could be interpreted differently from what you might like?
- See MIL-HDBK-245D Appendix B: “Work Words/Product Words”, for important key words.
- See Software Examples for SOW
AcqLinks and References:
-  MIL-HDBK-245D DoD “Handbook for Preparation of Statement of Work”- 3 April 1996
- MIL-STD-961E “Specification Format” – 2 April 08
- Financial Management Compendium Overview SOW
- Statement of Work
- Website: Navy Acquisition Package SOW