What Is a Work Statement?

A work statement is a business document and a working agreement between two parties to align the objectives of a particular project. The statement of work, or work statement, aids the parties in developing the scope of work for the project. The document drafting starts before the implementation of a project. It also enables the parties to define the essential elements of the project, including the project objectives for detailed and daily tasks, budget plans, project schedules, etc. Work statements are prevalent when there is a collaboration between a company and a third party for external projects while serving as a contract between the involved parties. For example, a company develops a work statement when collaborating with a design firm for a specific project or when dealing with building contractors when working on large-scale construction projects. Companies must develop intricate, complex, and well-developed statements of work when dealing with government agencies and contracts that are essential additions to requests for proposals or requests for quotations. Work statements are also relevant during internal projects, especially when different departments collaborate on a program. A project manager or leader, contractors, collaborators, and every individual working on the collaboration must receive the statement of work.

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Components of a Work Statement

Statements of work vary depending on the industry a business belongs to, and many successful and effective work statements follow specific guidelines. Ensure that the statement incorporates precise language that shows relevance to the field of business and industry to avoid the occurrence of misinterpretations, confusion, and misunderstandings regarding the terms and conditions. Despite work statements being detail-oriented documents, it is essentially a document that demonstrates the context and general description of the work and references the supplementary documents that are particular to individual tasks in the document. As such, a work statement must include essential information for it to function as necessary. The section below covers the components of a good work statement that a business uses.

Introduction: The introduction section details the general information and required work that individuals need to fulfill. The section also leads readers toward additional information and documentation, including the standing offer of set prices for the products and services that the team requires, along with a formal and written contract that provides additional detail outside the scope of the work statement.Purpose statement: The purpose statement explains why a team, department, or organization initiates a particular project or program. Construct the statement by providing details about the project deliverable, objectives, and possible return on investments.Scope of work: The scope of work statement indicates the work that individuals need to accomplish, including the software and hardware they require to fulfill work as necessary. It details the process that people need to complete the work, including the outcomes, time involved, and the necessary steps to achieve these outputs. Write a project scope statement to capture all the significant detail for the project.Location of work: The team working on the project requires a site or location to focus on fulfilling their tasks. A project can be site-specific, in a central facility, or some of the team members work remotely. Detail all the necessary information and include the location of essential equipment or software.Tasks: Create a breakdown of the outlined steps that are already in place in the scope of work section into more detailed tasks. Be specific and indicate all the relevant actions that individuals need to perform to produce deliverables and accomplish the project goals and objectives. A work breakdown structure can also help to break tasks down into milestones and phases.Deliverables: List all the expected deliverables from the project in detail, explaining when it is due and what are the set standards. Describe these in detail, especially for products, by indicating their size, color, quantity, and other aspects that prove relevant.Schedule: The schedule section includes a list that details when project deliverables must be complete. The section must start with the vendor the team selects to achieve each goal, the kickoff stage, performance period, review stage, development, implementation phase, testing phase, and up to the closing of the project. Milestones: This section of the work statement defines the amount of time that is on schedule to complete the project. It includes the proposed start and end date of the project. Make sure to indicate detailed information about the billable hours for each week or month, along with other details that relate to the project schedule. Be as specific as possible. If there is a maximum amount of billable hours that apply to the project for contracts and vendors, specify those. Standards and testing: If there are industry criteria and standards that a project must adhere to, list them in this section of the work statement. It must also indicate necessary information regarding product testing if applicable. As such, details about the individuals involved in the testing process, equipment needed for testing, and other resources.Project success definition: The statement of work takes note of the definition of success from stakeholders and sponsors after the project.Project requirements: List all other equipment that a project needs to complete the project and if there is a necessary degree or certification required from team members to operate said equipment. Make sure to note if there are also travel requirements or any other additional requirements that are not covered previously.Payment terms: Indicate all the payments relevant to the completion of the project if there is a created project budget plan. It is also necessary to state the mode of payment delivery. For instance, write if the payment is upfront, after the project completion, or throughout the project. Some projects include payments for each completed milestone, while others have a fixed schedule.Additional information: If there are other parts of the project does not fall in the categories above, list them in this section. Additional information includes security issues, travel pay and remittance, software and hardware restrictions, and possible post-project support.Closure: Conclude the work statement with information regarding the process of accepting deliverables, as well as the people in charge of delivering, reviewing, and signing off these outputs. The conclusion section must also include final administrative duties, ensuring that all related documents are signed, closed, and archived.

How To Effectively Construct a Work Statment for a Business Project

Writing an effective and good work statement requires time and experience. More often than not, the statement comes with the challenge of not knowing how to devise a plan, where to start, and how to visualize the outputs and deliverables at the end of the project. The work statement also serves as leverage for a scope of work statement, especially for external and collaborative projects. Using a detailed, accurate, and comprehensive statement guarantees that the teams are on the same page. Without a clear work statement, it paves the way for misunderstandings, conflicts, and miscommunications. The section below provides a guide to writing an effective work statement.

  • 1. Introduce the Project and Set Its Vision

    Always begin the work statement with an introduction that presents the names of key stakeholders of the project, including clients, agencies, and third-party stakeholders. Briefly define the project and the process towards project completion. It is also advisable to define the project vision to create suitable goals and achievable expectations.

  • 2. Set the Project Requirements

    Identify the principal foundational requirements for the project. To do this, refer to the mission statement and determine the problem to produce an aligned solution. Make sure there is an understanding between all the involved parties, and create a requirement specification list. The list serves as the foundation for the actual tasks and processes later on in the project.

  • 3. Define the Project Scope and Set a Project Deadline

    After presenting the vision and project requirements, the next step is to provide a project scope. Define the tasks and activities that are within and outside the scope of the project to prevent scope creep during the implementation of the project. These vital points define the project and serve as the foundation for the entire project moving forward. The purpose of the scope is to align the goals and expectations between the involved parties. It is also critical to set the start and end dates of the project. Task time estimations, available human resources, and total costs of a project are difficult to estimate but are necessary for tracking progress.

  • 4. Allocate the Essential Resources

    Having enough and the right resources are key to any successful project. It involves the roles, skills, and available capacity. Make sure there is a thorough assessment of the types of resources to ensure deliverables are available at the end of the project. Utilizing the team to its full potential is a driving factor for many clients to get the company for the next project. Utilizing proper capacity management guarantees the right people are available.

  • 5. Create a Work Schedule and Identify Payment Terms

    The next step is to set up a work schedule or a productivity timeline. Make sure to discuss the milestones and possible timeline with the client while creating the work statement to prevent the chances of scope creep, setting up all the tasks and activities within the set parameters. The timeline allows the organization to keep track of milestones throughout the project. Similar to other agreements, the work statement must indicate the terms of payment, the compensation methods, and due dates.

  • 6. Accept and Sign the Agreement after Incorporating Special Requirements

    Make sure to indicate additional requirements in the work statement, including security measures. Upon completing each step above, with the parties reading and understanding the contents of the work statement, the final step is to accept and sign the document.


What makes a good work statement?

A good work statement provides essential information about a proposed project to guarantee that involved parties are on the same page when it comes to the processes, deliverables, tasks, activities, and payment terms.

How do you write a statement?

When writing a statement, there are steps that you have to remember:

  • Identify the primary goal or objective of the statement
  • Prepare a general introduction
  • Develop a detailed body
  • Finish with a strong conclusion
  • Proofread the statement and revise as necessary

When to use a statement of work?

A team or an organization creates a statement of work as a guide or roadmap of the project plan to make it easier to execute.

Writing a work statement is essential before starting a project to ensure that there is clear instruction and process when individuals work on particular tasks and activities. Make sure that all essential detail is in the statement of work to lessen the occurrence of misunderstandings, disputes, and unclear instructions. The statement ensures that the scope of work that individuals perform is well within the agreement between the involved parties. Construct a work statement for your next project by downloading from the 20+ Sample Work Statement in PDF when you visit Sample.net.