A statement of work (SOW) is a project management document that provides a clear, written description of a project’s core requirements. The point of the SOW is to define the scope of the work being requested, timelines, work locations, and project deliverables. If a project involves third parties such as contractors, it will include additional information such as payment terms and conditions.
In essence, a statement of work is a process for ensuring that the agreed-upon scope of services is being provided on time and on budget. Many organizations create their own customized versions of SOWs that are designed to accommodate the typical requests or proposals that they receive, and these are usually informed by the overall goals of the organization as well as input from stakeholders such as customers and user groups.