ERP Statement of Work, as we use the term…

ERP SOWs, as we use the term, contain what we’ve come to call an abstract target system description

ERP SOWs, as we use the term, contain what we’ve come to call an abstract target system description.  “Target” refers to the ERP system the company aims to implement.  “Abstract” means two things: (1) that the target system is described in business English (augmented by specialized diagrams of various kinds), not in system-specific technical terms; (2) that it describes the company’s actual operations (as they are expected to exist at the time of implementation), not any configuration of any real ERP product. As such, the company writing the SOW will not expect the system it eventually implements to actually mirror the abstract target system precisely. But it does expect and will insist that every element of the abstract target system described in the SOW will be fully mapped to one or more corresponding elements in the actual system as a prerequisite to acquisition and implementation.

The point to keep in mind is that there is absolutely no reason to expect that any abstract system transaction will map one-to-one to any seller’s proposed solution.  What matters is that every bit of the functionality described in the abstract target business description must be satisfied – or, failing that, that an acceptable workaround is identified up front (in which case the SOW must be modified to reflect it).