The staff augmentation model is a popular business strategy that enables organizations to scale their workforce quickly and in a cost-effective manner by eliminating the need to hire permanent employees. It allows companies to temporarily hire external talent to supplement or complement their existing team on an as-needed basis.
The benefits of staff augmentation include access to a broader pool of expertise, increased flexibility, reduced overhead costs, and improved productivity. To ensure success you need a well-written statement of work (SOW) that clearly outlines all parties’ scope, responsibilities, and expectations.
What Is a Statement of Work (SOW)?
In IT staff augmentation, a Statement of Work (SOW) is a document that helps define the scope of work and the project’s specific details. To do this successfully, it outlines the tasks and responsibilities of the contractor or vendor, the timeline for completion, and the budget for the project.
The SOW is a legal agreement between the client and the contractor, which helps protect both parties in disputes or disagreements. It provides a clear framework for resolving any issues that may arise and helps ensure that the project is completed successfully and on time.
Is a Statement of Work (SOW) the same as a contract?
A Statement of Work (SOW) is not the same as a contract, although it can be part of a staff augmentation contract. The SOW defines and outlines the scope of work for a client, while a contract is the general, legally binding agreement between two or more parties that sets out the terms and conditions of their relationship.
A top staff augmentation provider like WillDom has the best practice of instructing you on the Statement of Work (SOW) and any other relevant documents explaining the scope of work, timelines, deliverables, and any further essential details. Not to mention, WillDom will also be available to answer any questions or concerns you may have throughout the process.
What Should a Staff Augmentation Statement of Work (SOW) Include?
It is common to feel lost or uncertain about what to include in a Staff Augmentation Statement of Work (SOW). With so many details to consider, it can be overwhelming to determine what is essential and what can be left out.
Here is a list of what a Staff Augmentation SOW should include to help you get started:
- Description of services
The description of services section should provide a clear and detailed description of the services the staff augmentation team will deliver. It should include information about each team member’s specific roles and responsibilities, the methodology used, and the tools and technologies utilized.
Example: The staff augmentation team will provide software development services to build a new e-commerce website for their client. The team will consist of two front-end developers, two back-end developers, and a project manager. To succeed, they will use the Agile methodology and utilize tools such as Jira, GitHub, and Slack to collaborate and manage the project.
The scope section should clearly define the boundaries of the project and what is included and excluded in the scope of work. It should also outline any assumptions and constraints that may impact the project.
Example: The scope of work includes the design, development, testing, and deployment of the e-commerce website. On the other hand, it does not include the creation of any marketing materials or the result of any mobile applications. The project assumes that the client will promptly provide all necessary assets, such as logos and product images.
The deliverables section should outline the specific deliverables the staff augmentation team will provide. It should include details about the format and quality of the deliverables as well as any other acceptable criteria.
Example: The deliverables for this project include a functional e-commerce website that meets all agreed-upon requirements, a user manual, and source code documentation. The website must be fully responsive and accessible on all devices. Acceptable criteria for the website include functionality, usability, and compliance with the agreed-upon requirements.
The timeframes section should detail the timeline for the project, including start and end dates as well as any milestones or deadlines. It should also include information about the availability of the staff augmentation team.
Example: The project will begin on January 1st and must be completed by June 30th. The first milestone is completing the website design, due on February 15th. The second milestone is completing the website development, due on April 30th. The staff augmentation team will be available 40 hours a week, Monday through Friday.
- Project complexity
The project complexity section should describe the complexity of the project and any potential risks that may impact its success. It should also include information about the staff augmentation team’s experience and expertise in similar projects.
Example: This project is of medium complexity due to the required features and the integration with third-party payment systems. Delays are the main risk if the client does not promptly provide all necessary assets. The staff augmentation team has completed similar projects with this time frame in the past. .
- Performance metrics or KPIs
The performance metrics, or KPIs section, should outline the key performance indicators that will be used to measure the project’s success. It should include specific targets for each metric.
Example: The performance metrics for this project include website uptime, page load times, and conversion rates. The goal is to achieve 99.9% uptime, a page load time of under 3 seconds, and a conversion rate of at least 2%. These metrics will be measured and reported regularly throughout the project.
The requirements section should detail any specific requirements for the project, including any technical or functional needs. It should also include information about any third-party systems or services that will be integrated with the website.
Example: The website must be built using React.js and Node.js. It must also integrate with a third-party payment system and support multiple payment methods. The website must be fully responsive and accessible on all devices. The website must also comply with all relevant laws and regulations, such as GDPR and PCI DSS.
- Payment schedule based on milestones
The payment schedule based on milestones section should outline the payment terms for the project, including how payments will be made and when they will be due. It should also include information about any penalties or fees for late payments.
Example: Payment will be made in three installments, with 30% due upon completion of the website design, 50% due upon completion of the website development, and 20% due upon acceptance of the completed project. Payments will be made via PayPal within 10 business days of the invoice date. Late payments will be subject to a 2% interest charge per month.
- Acceptance criteria
The acceptance criteria section should detail the acceptance criteria for the project, including how the client will review and approve the deliverables. It should also include information about any revisions or changes that may be required.
Example: The client will review and approve each deliverable within 5 business days of receipt. Acceptance criteria for the website include functionality, usability, and compliance with the agreed-upon requirements. If revisions or changes are required, the staff augmentation team will make the necessary updates and resubmit the deliverable for approval.
- Termination clauses
The termination clauses section is the most important thing in the SOW. It should outline the circumstances under which either party may choose an end date for the project and any penalties or fees associated with early termination. It should also include information about any intellectual property rights.
Example: Either party may terminate the project with 30 days’ notice if there is a material breach of the agreement. If the project is released early, the client will be responsible for paying for all work completed up to that point. The staff augmentation team retains all intellectual property rights to any work created during the project.
What Are Some Common Mistakes to Avoid When Drafting a Staff Augmentation SOW?
When drafting a staff augmentation SOW, it is not uncommon to make mistakes that can lead to misunderstandings, delays, and other issues down the line. Researching others’ mistakes to draft high-quality SOWs from the beginning is always good.
Here are three of the most common mistakes to avoid when drafting a Staff Augmentation SOW:
Vagueness can lead to misunderstandings and delays. For example, if the SOW states that the staff augmentation team will “provide software development services,” it is not clear what specific services will be provided or what the deliverables will be.
How to avoid it: Use clear and concise language to describe the services that will be provided, the deliverables that will be produced, and the performance metrics that will be used to measure success. Include details about the scope of work, timelines, payment schedules, and any assumptions and constraints that may impact the project.
- Neglecting performance metrics
Without clear metrics it may be difficult to measure the project’s success or identify areas for improvement.
How to avoid it: Individual hiring managers should include specific KPIs relevant to the project in the SOW. For example, if the project is to build an e-commerce website, relevant KPIs may include website uptime, page load times, and conversion rates. Be sure to set specific targets for each metric and to measure and report on them regularly throughout the project.
- Failing to specify deliverables
Ensuring the project is on track and meets client expectations may be challenging without clear deliverables.
How to avoid it: Hiring managers should include a detailed description of the deliverables in the SOW. This should include information about the format and quality of the deliverables and any acceptance criteria. Be sure to include information about the timeline for each deliverable and how it will be reviewed and approved by the client.
Let’s Start Your Staff Augmentation Project Today!
If you need staff augmentation services, WillDom can help. Our extensive experience in staff augmentation, our innovative staff augmentation model, and our contingent workforce allow us access to a broader pool of expertise. We guarantee clear staff augmentation contracts, contingent workers, increased flexibility, reduced overhead costs, and improved productivity.
Contact WillDom today to start a staff augmentation arrangement tailored to your business goals.