25+ Free Scope of Work (SOW) Templates [Word+PDF]

free scope of work template 7

The scope of work template is a document used by many contractors and the people who handle large-scale projects. It outlines the work schedules in a systematic way. The expected beginning and the end of the work are defined in it. Additionally, if you are handling multiple works then define each work in a systematic way.

What is the scope of work?

The scope of work is the most important document to any project manager. It is also known as the statement of work. It acts as an agreement that contains information on how the work performed will be achieved. It brings everything expected in the project implementation together. In this document, you can explain milestones, reports, deliverables, and outcomes that a certain project will be completing. Also, explain the timeline for each deliverable.

Above all, this document guides a project manager towards the successful completion of a specific project. It explains what to do and what to avoid. An SOW should be well-written so that it gives a clear picture of the complete project requirements.

What to include in a Scope of Work?

The SOW document should contain the following;

Project overview:

The project overview contains a precise statement that explains what the project is all about.


It means that what your project is going to deliver. In addition, it states the expected goals that must be accomplished within the execution.

Project scope:

It contains all the strategies that should be implemented for the execution of the project. It is classified into two i.e. the technical aspects and the tasks. The technical aspects include the methodologies and procedures that are needed for project implementation. While the tasks comprise the specific requests required to realize the objectives of the project.


The timeline states the project’s lifetime i.e. from its start to its end. It focuses on;

  • The project’s task
  • Their delivery dates
  • Time restrictions
  • The expected project duration

Project management:

Here you have to highlight management responsibilities within the project. Moreover, it emphasizes the payment terms and methods, regulatory, and control measures. The administration, relevant stakeholders, and other staff are included.


Long, demanding, and complex nature projects require having tasks broken down into small manageable parts. These small tasks combine to form larger projects known as milestones. The project manager should include various milestones in the scope of work to make progress monitoring easy.

Project reports:

During the duration of project implementation, you have to deliver project reports at some intervals. These reports are important because they give a record of the progress of the project.

Why do you require a Scope of Work document?

If you are a business that contracts with other businesses then a scope of work document is an essential thing to use. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, this document helps you clearly define the terms of the project if you sign contracts on a daily basis. It acts as a formal document that explains the following;

  • The work to be done
  • The process of the activities
  • A timeline of deliverables
  • Payment terms

What challenges can you face while writing a good SoW?

Here are the challenges that you can face while writing a good SoW;

Scope creep

When you define project goals and requirements poorly, your client may request additional changes that are included in the project scope. You may face prolonged timelines and additional costs due to scope creep.

Lack of risk management procedures

In order to prevent risks from becoming issues, project managers should have contingency measures in place. A risk management framework helps the team in determining risks and responding to them so it is important for effective project management.

Lack of skills

Sometimes, team members don’t have the specific skills to write a well-written SoW which results in low progress in your project planning. Therefore, project managers must evaluate the competencies of team members.

What to do before writing the scope of work?

Before writing your scope of work, you have to use these guidelines;

  • It’s better to use the scope of work template because it reflects the style of language your company uses.
  • Search for a scope of work example and find one that’s specific to your industry. While writing the document keep them as references.
  • Next, take the time to understand customer’s requirements, expectations, project goals, deadlines, and deliverables. However, if you are making a document for a government agency, use information from RFP to write it.
  • You must share information with all of your project team members. Also, ensure to pay attention to their concerns. You also have to seek their input on any milestones.
  • Most importantly, describe your work in detail. Don’t leave anything out. You must give a thorough outline of the project and how the project will be deployed and managed. Mention the policies and procedures that may have a negative impact on the project.
  • Some clients don’t know about the SOW document. In such cases, you have to show them past projects examples of a scope of work. In this way, they can understand why their specifications are so important. Make sure that you have the ability to handle complex projects with professionalism.
  • If you have any technical support, warranty terms, maintenance agreements, and important terms and conditions then also mention them.

Tips for writing an effective Scope of Work:

An effective SOW would contain all the information on the project you are doing. There is no need to reference any external document or verbal agreements. All agreements should be spelled out clearly in the document. The schedule and the payment terms in the scope of work document must mention. As it is a legal document so using outside references may lead to trouble. Therefore, you should take the time to understand all the considerations thoroughly.

It’s a better idea to look over SOW examples to see how other businesses have used the document. Furthermore, the scope of work templates helps you to stay competitive. These templates assist you to learn about any special stipulations your competition may put in place.

Some other tips are;

  • Don’t waste your time on writing; take your time to understand your customer’s requirements, preferences, and suggestions.
  • Involve all your team members and discuss project requirements in detail.
  • As pictures speak a thousand words, use visual presentation in your scope of work.
  • Additionally, your goals are SMART i.e. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
  • Your language or tone should be to the point and easily understandable by all parties.
  • Determine your assumptions. You must provide a thorough outline of the project management procedures.
  • State some of the warranties, service, and maintenance terms, and other terms and conditions.

The industries that use a Scope of Work:

Here is a list of industries that may use an SOW to do business;

  • Software companies
  • Web design companies
  • Construction companies
  • Plumbers
  • Decorating companies
  • Wedding contractors
  • Marketing agencies
  • Independent contractors
  • Event planners
  • Appliance Repair companies
  • Subcontractors


In conclusion, the scope of work template is a useful tool that helps business to create an effective SOW document and get the most out of their contracts. It helps you to establish credibility. It serves as a powerful tool and keeps everyone answerable for project tasks. If you want that your project work will flow then make your scope of work clear and updated. Moreover, it explains the work to be done, the process of the activities, the timeline, and payment terms.

Faqs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the scope of work for the contractor?

The scope of work for a contractor is a formal document that specifies the activities that are included in the construction project.

How to make a scope of work for a construction project?

Here are the tips to make a scope of work for a construction project;

1- Use simple, clear, and unambiguous language
2- Define your goals
3- Make all of your expectations clear
4- Consult with your teams
5- Get signatures

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