Statement of Work vs. Scope of Work

December 20, 2022
4 minute read

They might both be called an SoW, but a statement of work and scope of work are two different things. Now, you might be thinking, SoW what? Why are either of these documents important?

In this blog, we’re going to clarify the differences between the two SoWs, and explain how they can be oh, so useful for your project's success!


What is the difference between statement of work and scope of work?

A statement of work is a legal document that states what needs to be done to complete a project. A scope of work, on the other hand, is a section within the statement of work, describing how the project goals which are listed in the statement of work will be accomplished. 

Now, we’ll go into greater detail on what exactly the statement of work and scope of work documents are.

What is a statement of work?

As any PM will know, the best way to start a project is by having all project details down pat and agreed to by stakeholders. This is the purpose of a statement of work. Using the table below, let’s clarify exactly what is included in a statement of work, and what each component is there to achieve.


Statement of Work Component



Explains what the project is about and who is involved.

Project purpose

States the project’s purpose, objectives, and deliverables.

Scope of work

A very detailed explanation of how project goals will be accomplished.

Location of work

States where the project will take place, including if it will be remote or on-site.

Detailed tasks

A further breakdown of the scope of work, detailing all the steps required to complete the project. It’s useful to include a WBS here.


Gives the project a timeline, and sets goals as to when different tasks should be completed by.


Specifies what is required of each deliverable and when it needs to be finished. 


Details the start and end date for each deliverable, as well as the amount of time to be spent on each task+any billable hours.

Standards and testing

Lists any industry quality standards that must be kept to, who will be involved, and when testing will take place.

Success definition

Defines what the project sponsor and any relevant stakeholders expect as a successful project.


Lists any project-specific requirements, like equipment, certifications, security, and travel.


Lists what payments the project will accrue, how, and when they will be paid.


For information that doesn’t fit into any of the above categories.


Determines who will hand over deliverables and how, as well as final admin duties, like signing off and archiving the project.

What are the benefits of a Statement of Work?

Although writing a statement of work might seem like an overwhelming task at first, it gets easier every time. It’s also bound to save you time later on in the project, so you’re not losing out by spending time on it initially.

Here are some reasons why writing a statement of work is worth the effort:

  • It’s a great way to share all project details with stakeholders so that everyone is clear on what to expect, avoiding confusion and conflict later on.

  • It provides a detailed overview of the project scope which can be referenced throughout the project.

  • It keeps everyone on the same page.

  • It provides a structure for the project team.

What is a scope of work?

A scope of work document is a subcomponent of the statement of work. Its function is to let all relevant parties know exactly what is and what is not included in the project, i.e, the project scope. It includes deliverables, a timeline, milestones, and reports.

Let’s go through these one at a time:

Deliverables: These are the final pieces you will be handing over to your clients, whether physical deliverables or a service. A work breakdown structure is recommended here to help sort deliverables into manageable tasks.

Timeline: This is best presented visually, or in a Gantt chart. The timeline should depict when different parts of the project need to be ready, as well as mark major phases in the project.

Milestones: Milestones put smaller tasks into a greater context, labeling certain achievements as milestones. They help monitor progress and help you keep to the timeline.

Reports: This part of the scope of work lays down when different reports should be generated, who they will be given to, and who will write them. Types of reports that might be needed include progress reports, status reports, and financial reports.


Overall, the 3 most important things to remember when writing a scope of work, are:

  • Be specific: Never assume that anyone will work out anything for themselves. Get it all down to the nitty-gritty. Also ensure that everyone knows exactly who should do what, and when.

  • Use visuals wherever possible: This gives everyone an idea of what the deliverables will look like in the end and makes sure that no one misinterprets what you’ve written-you can’t misinterpret a picture.

  • Get sign-offs: It’s essential that you get the right people to authorize and sign off critical parts of the project. Getting signatures saves you from having to do more work if stakeholders aren’t happy or change their minds at the end.

What are the benefits of a Scope of Work?

  • It helps you avoid potential risks, as seeing a scope of work laid out in front of you can bring potential risks to light, which otherwise may not have been noticed.

  • Having a scope of work makes you much less likely to get caught up in scope creep. Make sure you DO measure your progress against the scope of work, though. There’s no use in having a scope of work just sitting on the shelf!

How can Workamajig help you with your SoWs?


Having a statement of work and a scope of work are excellent first steps toward project success. The question is, how do you implement all the carefully laid plans written in your SoWs?

The answer is simple, you need robust project management software to bring your plans to fruition.

And I’m willing to bet all the SoWs in the world that Workamajig is your very best option!

Here are just some of the things that Workamajig can do to make sure your SoWs don’t fall through the cracks:

  • All items needing attention are shown in one place with project warnings, so your budget and timeline are never at risk.

  • Create, customize & export reports plus built-in Gantt & burn charts for your visual learners

  • Easily view and manage the exact resources, hours, and budgets for new projects

  • Visualize project tasks, dependencies and complete timelines with built-in Gantt charts

  • With tasks, time tracking, files, conversations, & schedules all in one place, work is smooth

  • Capture more billable hours and improve your bottom line with better time-tracking

  • Easily log time from task cards with time entries or timers

  • Keep projects on schedule with automatic schedule & budget updates based on tracked time.

  • It's easy to see what's needed & just as easy to assign work in just a few clicks from the project schedule.

  • Get ahead of the game with our ready-to-go templates - or customize your own - that include typical resources needed for each project type.

  • Everything you need is at your fingertips. View workloads by week or day for the whole team, & filter by the office, department, role, service, or person.

  • Plan proactively, not reactively. View real-life utilization, including meetings, vacations, company holidays & job commitments.




Don’t stress about SoWs, let Workamajig do the hard work!


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