Project Management:

Key Documents

Statement of Work (SOW)


Questions about the Project being Answered by SOW

  • purpose

  • goals

  • scope

  • deliverables

  • constraints

  • success criteria

  • management guidelines

  • assumptions

Project Management: Two Approaches


Minimum Content of SOW4

  1. Purpose Statement answers briefly the question: Why are we doing this project?

  2. Scope Statement puts some boundaries on the project; specifies what is within and beyond the project's scope; names major activities clearly enough to define what the project will and won't do; lists major activities that are critical to success of the project, but beyond the scope of the project; defines a project place in a larger scenario

  3. Deliverables tells the stakeholders, especially the project team, what the project is supposed to produce; lists both intermediate and end deliverables; references product descriptions

  4. Cost and Schedule Estimates - explains budget and deadline; not  deliverables

  5. Constraints

  6. Success criteria

  7. Chain of command or management guidelines

  8. Assumptions


Why Statement of Work?

Developing the statement of work is required to provide clear direction to projects and project managers if they are to succeed. Statement of work (SOW) sets the rules for the project once the key stakeholders formally agree to its content. SOW lists the goals, constraints, success criteria, and management guidelines. It clarifies responsibilities and actions of project stakeholders in a relationship

The written SOW is an effective tool for managing stakeholders and their expectations. Developing SOW and responsibility matrix balances the project based on high-level estimates of the cost, schedule, quality, and resource requirements.

Project Management: Business Synergies Approach

50 Rules of Project Management

A project is one small step for the project sponsor, one giant leap for the project manager.

The person who says it will take the longest and cost the most is the only one with a clue how to do the job... More

5 Factors that Make a Project Successful

By: Eric Verzuh, the author of The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management

To be successful, a project must have:

  1. Agreement among the project stakeholders the team, customer, and management  on the goals of the project... More


By: Michael S. Dobson


To make your project team function effectively, the first thing you need to know is the GREAT model: Goals; Results; Expectations / Performance; Accountabilities / Abilities; Timing.

The GREAT model specifies what people must know before they can work together effectively... More

Managing Change

SOW is a tool for managing expectations and change. In case the original agreements or assumptions change during the course of a project, all stakeholders must be kept up to date, agree to these changes, and the project manager must write them into the statement of work.

Murphy's Law in Project Management

Firmness of delivery dates is inversely proportional to the tightness of the schedule.... More



  1. Getting Started in Project Management, P.Martin and K.Tate

  2. Project Manager's MBA, Cohen E. Graham

  3. ICB IPMA Competence Baseline, International Project Management Association (IPMA)

  4. The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management,  Erich Verzuh