The SOW itself does four things in one document

The SOW itself does four things in one document:

  • It explicitly states the system-wide expectations (i.e., those not tied to a particular business function) in the clearest, most straightforward, and least ambiguous manner possible.
  • It describes the abstract target system description in full detail. Every lowest-level element of that abstract target system represents a single, distinct expectation.
  • It establishes the ownership of every expectation; that is, it names, names, and the people named are on the hook for seeing that their expectations are met.
  • It sets out every deliverable expected and identifies all the work to be performed and who is to do it. It does this such that every single deliverable and bit of work to be performed is cross-referenced to a stated expectation (and every stated expectation is tied to at least one identified task or deliverable intended to satisfy it). It ties acceptance of every deliverable directly to the satisfaction of its related expectation(s).