Know About the Core Importance of SOW in Software Development

Learn How to Create Statement of Work Perfectly According to the Demands


Many companies these days outsource their software projects to third-party companies. They usually do this because of not having enough skills in technical development. In this scenario, their relationship with the outsourcing companies really matter a lot. It generally poses a direct impact on the outcome of software projects. The project stakeholders generally sign Statement of Work (SOW) with the outsourcing companies before awarding any project. The importance of SOW in software development is hugely important, as it helps both parties to come on the same page in terms of mutually agreeing on various grounds.

Statement of Work can be considered as the document that defines the core functional requirements, goals and objectives of the project. All of these things are not written in detail, but in a very précised format in the document. By reading the SOW document, both parties can understand what is required in the project. It helps to eradicate confusion, and increase collaboration between both parties. That is how effective communication is established, enabling the project to be completed as per the required needs.

Those project stakeholders who do not have any knowledge about the need of SOW in software development, must need to read this article in detail. It will discuss everything related to the preparation of Statement of Work document for software projects. It will let you know how this document is structured and written in a professional manner, so that everyone can understand the points mentioned in it.

Let us first start from the basics, understanding what is Statement of Work and why using SOW in software development is necessary. Let’s take a look at it below.

What is Statement of Work (SOW)?

SOW Report generation

Statement of Work is a document that includes project points agreed between the developers and clients. Both of them prepare this document after mutual agreement, so that nothing can remain in disparity at the end of project. It has been a common problem in the industry that clients and developers often argue on some issues that are not discussed at the start. This often leads to some disagreements resulting in a deadlock between both parties.

To avoid having this situation, Statement of Work is created to bring everyone on the same page. It is a document that contains different things related to the software development services that will be given to the clients. It includes objectives, requirements, deadlines, payment schedules and more defined in a structured manner. This information is agreed by both parties, hence no one can bring disagreements at the end of the project. It is just like a legal document that helps both sides to agree on different points that are crucially related to the outcome of any project.    

Why Using SOW in Software Development is Important?

Importance of SOW report)

For software projects, it is quite important to have a document that can let everyone know what the application is all about. The reason is that besides technical things, there are several points that are needed to be agreed between both sides. This is precisely done to eradicate chances of confusion and disagreements at the end of the project. Some people might say that this document isn’t necessary, but logically, it is very important when it comes to build effective collaboration between two parties right from the start.

By using SOW in software development projects, you do not bother about sudden claims coming from the clients. The points mentioned in Statement of Work reminds everyone about the checklist that was committed at the start. It does not put anyone into ambiguity or any confusion, as that could seriously disrupt the ongoing work on any project. Both developers and clients sign on this document mutually, so that everything related to the project becomes crystal clear from the start.

Who Should Write Statement of Work?

Statement of Work is an important document that should be written by a specific side. Generally, outsourcing vendors develop SOW for software development projects. They are basically at the better position to determine the terms and conditions of the project. Though these points should also be agreed with the project stakeholders, but the proposal usually goes from the outsourcing vendors.

Meanwhile, to write this document, the software outsourcing team should also have a specialized writer with the knowledge of professional document writing. It is something that cannot be written in plain words, as there are many things that need technical explanation in the document. So, a person having good command on writing and technicals is required for this job, so that SOW document can be prepared as per the best practices.

How to Write Statement of Work?

Writing SOW report

To create Statement of Work, you must need to know what type of information should be put in the document. This is crucial because random stuff is strictly not recommended for this project report. Sometimes, people write extra stuff just to showcase their efficiency. This is certainly not a good practice because SOW in software development needs to be written with precised information.

If you do not have much knowledge about that, take a look at the points given below. It will let you understand how to write this document in an effective manner, so that everyone can understand the points mentioned inside it.  

Project Introduction with Purpose

The document should start by defining a clear introduction about the project. It should be written in simple words, so that everyone can understand the basics properly. This part should be concise because no one likes to read lengthy paragraphs at the start of any report. It quickly eradicates their interest, as they do not find the basic project purpose written in a simple manner. Generally, the intro should be around four to five lines, explaining the core nature of the software application.

By writing the project purpose clearly in the introduction, the document sets the tone for the readers. They come to understand why the application is being created and what benefits it will offer to the customers. If the purpose is written clearly, then the project understanding becomes clearer from the start for both parties.

Scope of Work

Next in line is the definition of scope of work. This is an important part that describes what is going to be done in the project. For developers, it is easy to understand, but for clients, the case is not the same. They are basically non-technical, hence they cannot understand the complicated stuff as developers usually do. This section needs to highlight those points in a simple manner, so that they can know what the software application is all about.

The scope of work could include different types of information, such as project discovery, objectives, software development KPIs and other things. These are very important information, as they define what was needed and how the software system will look like after completion. It is better advised to write it from the clients’ perspective, so that they can easily understand it.

Operational Place

Many companies often outsource their software projects to freelancers and third-party companies sitting in any other country. They understand that hiring these offshore developers could bring differences in time of work. This thing should be mentioned in the SOW that the operational timings of outsourcing teams and project stakeholders could differ from each other. Though it is an obvious fact, but it should be still mentioned in the document.

In addition to that, you can also mention in the SOW document where the outsourcing teams are working from. Generally, the country, state and city of offshore teams are described in this part. This will properly specify their regions, and hence the operational timings. It is certainly an important information that comes handy in different circumstances, such as arranging meetings, payment transfer regulations and more others.

Project Deadline

The deadline of project should be clearly defined in the SOW document. It is an important date that often creates serious differences between developers and clients. This usually happens when a definite deadline is not documented. People think that their verbal conversations could do the job for them, but that is not the case in software development projects. They are quite technical, hence their timeline could scale up depending on the complexity of the project.

By mentioning the deadline, everyone connected to the project knows about the completion date. The development team specifically takes it into their notice as they have to align their tasks accordingly. This documented approach wipes out all the chances of confusion and disagreements at the end, instructing developers to do their job as per the given timeline.

Acceptance Conditions

While writing SOW, you must have to define project acceptance conditions at the end. These points should be understood by both parties, as the final project delivery depends on it. In the acceptance conditions, there are few points that must be met at the end of the project. This could include development of some important features or implementing core security protocols in the application. These things are quite necessary, which is why their priority is always high.

The acceptance criteria are usually defined by the clients. That is because they are the ones who will be using the software system, hence they will let the outsourcing teams know how the project should be built. Though developers also have their say in defining these conditions, but they are mostly related to the functional grounds.

Final Words

That takes us to the end of this article in which we have discussed the importance of SOW in software development. This documents basically serves as a reminder to everyone. It lets both parties know what the project is all about and how it should be developed. It specifies requirements and goals to the development teams, so that they can plan their work accordingly. This blog has defined some important points related to the writing of this document, enabling beginners to precisely understand its structure.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for a company that can help you develop advanced software applications as defined in the Statement of Work, get in touch with us today. We have plenty of experience in developing state-of-the-art software systems rightly as per the given demands.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is Statement of Work (SOW)?

Statement of Work is a document that contains every important information related to the project. It helps project stakeholders and developers to stay on the same page in terms of developing an application from start to finish.

2. Why SOW in software development is important?

It is quite necessary to create a Statement of Work before developing any application. It has the points that remind both sides about the actual project requirements and goals, so that none of them could bring any outside claims.

3. How to write SOW for software projects?

It is very important to write a SOW report as per the best market standards. It requires you write about project purpose, objectives, goals and deadlines clearly, so that everyone can read and understand them accurately.

4. Which format should be used for writing the SOW report?

To write Statement of Work, you do not need any specialized format. However, it is recommended to use a structure that can define things professionally. This includes proper definition of project requirements, deliverables, deadline and more others.

5. How long should be the SOW document?

The length of Statement of Work depends on the project requirements, objectives and other details discussed in the document. If all of these things require lengthy explanation, then the SOW document could go to multiple pages.