A project consists of two main parts. One is planning and other is the productive implementation of that plan. The planning requires a careful consideration and estimation of work that needs to be done. It includes the process of identifying the objectives, specifying the means, paperwork and construction estimating services. The implementation phase of the project is regarded as carrying out the plans in order to meet the objectives. There are many important components of both these phases. What we are going to focus on today is an important component of planning phase and is known as the Scope of Work or SoW. It is a must for effective planning of the construction project. Scope of work is generally regarded as a detailed framework of how the things should be done. Let’s have a detailed discussion regarding the importance and significance of scope of work.
Importance and significance of scope of work:
We can have a better understanding of importance of SoW by understanding the basic concept behind this:
What is Scope of Work document?
Let’s establish a clear concept of this document by discussing the basics. SoW or Scope of Work is the formal and concise statement of work. It includes details about the jobs and duties if the construction leaders and managers. It gives a clear account of what should be done and how it should be done.
It highlights the overview of the project along with the deliverables.
This is a general overview of what is Scope of Work document. In order to understand how it works, a detailed account of components and important elements is discussed below.
Components of Scope of Work:
A Scope of Work document has some important components that help in identifying the goals and objectives and help in the implementation process as well. These components also help in identifying the significance and importance of this document for the construction project.
Overview of the project:
Scope of Work contains the overview of the construction project. It contains information regarding what is going to be done. It identifies the important areas of the project. The targets are described as well.
Scope of the project:
As the name depicts, this document also contains the overall scope of the project. The size of the project is discussed and along with it, construction cost is identified. Construction estimators provide estimates in this regard. The span of construction is discussed in accordance with how big the project is.
Labor cost estimates:
This document also contains the cost for labor and payment schedules and methods. The decided cost for labor is quoted and the parties agree to it. IF there is any kind of objection by any part, it is discussed and negotiated. A new deliverable is then submitted which requires approval from every concerned part.
Schedule and management:
The schedule of construction is one of the important components for SoW document. Timings for the construction project are set. Deadlines are identified and estimated time period is calculated. All these calculations are clearly marked in the document. The construction managers are responsible for meeting these timelines. Way to manage the project according to the timeline and time stamps are listed in this document.
It contains details regarding what type of contract is going to be used for the project. Different types of construction contract have different clauses and nature and hence, the concerned type of contract is mentioned in the document for all parties to understand. It is important to have this knowledge beforehand. If any party objects on the contracting method, new contract can be formulated which will require approval from each signatory.
Details of deliverables:
The Scope of Work document contains the information regarding the deliverables. What is going to be delivered when, is important to know and the information regarding all of them is a vital component of this document.
While looking at these components, we can easily establish that having a Scope of Work document is important for the construction project. It makes the work authentic and easy to track. It also makes the parties responsible for their work.
Things to remember while writing Scope of Work:
It is important to highlight the points that are of significance when writing SoW. It will not have as much effectiveness if there are important things missing in the document.
Use clear language:
If you are using ambiguous language or jargons that have multiple interpretations, you are writing the whole document wrong. It is important to write the document in a language that is clear and is understandable. If you write some complex concepts, it is possible that people will have multiple interpretations, which can cause problems. A new deliverable will have to be submitted in this case.
Include visual elements for clarity:
Adding visual elements can help in minimizing the ambiguities. The plan drawings and visual documents can help min making scope clear where the text fails to do so. This will mitigate the possibility of any error in the plan.
Be specific while defining the goals:
Be concise and specific when writing the objectives and goals. Avoid writing prolong objectives that are difficult to understand. Long and lengthy makes it hard to understand.
Verify the objectives:
It is a good practice to verify the goals and objectives repeatedly. While implementing the plans, even a slight change can alter the course of project. It is important to verify the objectives when implementing the plans. It helps in staying on course and deviation is avoided.
Set the milestones:
Bifurcate the timeline in milestones and set targets accordingly. Instead of having a time period with lengthy goals to achieve, divide the timeline and goals into achievable and workable milestones. This reduces the stress as well as the pressure for project completion.
Get the signatures of the concerned parties:
Make sure that the parties that agree to the whole plan sign the document as well. Signoffs should be done while agreeing to the course of the project. If any part objects to it, new draft must be made. It is imperative that the concerned parties agree to the text and plan of the document.
Observe the timelines:
Commit to the timelines and make sure that these are observed accordingly.
As it is clear from the discussion that since the Scope of Work document is detailed and includes all the aspects related to the project, it is important to have this document in the planning phase of the project as well as the implementation phase. The planning of any construction project is incomplete without the construction cost estimation as well as the Scope of Work document. It eliminates the risk of planning failures and mistakes. It also solidifies that all concerned parties agree to the plan and are willing to work accordingly. This helps in the legal interpretations as well.
Know your project and work safe!