A Great Sample Scope of Work (SOW) for Freelance Projects

June 7th, 2023

Does your company need to put together a Scope of Work (SOW) for a freelance project? Below is a great example that factors in many considerations for a project. With over a decade of experience in freelance engagements, this sample SOW is a great place to start!

1. Start with a General Statement of Work, outlining the overall goal of the project:

COMPANY would like to PROJECT DESCRIPTION to meet the needs of/with the aim of PROJECT GOAL.

Example: 10x Management would like to redesign its Salesforce customer portal to increase customer engagement and bring in more users for daily interaction.

2. Create a Project Summary:

– Provide an overall summary of the work the freelancer will be doing and what the work will achieve/accomplish
– Clearly outline how the project will be done – what languages will you be using, what designs are you incorporating, how often will meetings take place, etc.)
– Be very specific about the steps being taken – this is like a roadmap/plan for the entire project

3. List the Current Challenges You’re Facing and Why You’re Proceeding with the Project:

In bullet format, explain why you’re bringing on a freelancer to change things.

– After years of neglect the Customer Portal is no longer serving those who use it
– The portal needs to be updated to reflect the current workflows
– There is a legitimate cybersecurity concern over user privacy

4. List the Proposed Fixes:

In bullet format, explain how you envision solving your old problems.

– A user first research project will begin to identify all user needs
– Best options for technologies and tools will be evaluated given the needs expressed
– Upon completion of implementation of MVP, analysis will be done on modifications and iterations

5. List the Project Deliverables:

Share the specific deliverables of the project in bullet/numbered format, and corresponding dates if relevant.

6. List the Assumptions/Limitations/Contingencies:

In bullet format, share some of the assumptions you’ve made about the project to inform the estimate, paying special attention to what is and is not included in the scope:

– The data is in (x) condition
– State of the legacy or existing codebase
– 3rd party integrations and services
– Designer delivers their files on (x) schedule, or “two rounds” of revisions
– Stakeholders can turn around decisions in (x) hours or days
– QA is or is not included
– Deployment is or is not included
– Costs of hosting and bandwidth are or are not included

7. List the Risks Associated with the Work:

– If any of the third party vendors are late on delivery, it will impact the timeline as there are no buffers
– If the database is not structured and cleaned as was explained, this will delay the project

8. List the Roles & Responsibilities of the Project (optional)

Defining who does what and who approves what and when. Be very specific about what is included in the SOW, and equally specific about what is NOT included in the SOW.

– Contractor will conduct all elements of the build 
– Company will do all QA and bug reporting
– Contractor will conduct one round of revisions to code, but a second round of revisions will require a new SOW

9. Outline the Communication Plan:

What channels will you use for communication and with what frequency?

– We will be working in two week sprints
– Weekly written email reports on Friday summarizing what was accomplished in the past week and what will be done in the coming week. 
– Standups on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9AM ET
– Slack for real time communication as needed
– Any changes to scope, timeline or budget will be documented in email

10. Outline the Technical Requirements of the Project:

Is there any hardware or software required? Subscriptions? API’s, etc?

– Customer will need to provide three sample devices for testing along with access to the xyz database and API
11. Provide a Total Estimate:

Provide a clear estimate of hours for completion along with a proposed timeline for the project. A table may be helpful: