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Preparing Scope of Work for Construction Projects

Scope of Work for construction project is also called statement of work. It is one of the most important aspects of construction project management as it details the entire work to be done, how the work is to be completed, the team member responsible for each task, and what is expected from the contractor. It is designed to have a timeline which indicates the timeframe when each milestone and deliverables are to be due. It is therefore used as a measuring tool for the construction manager to make sure the projects deliverables are met.

A scope of work should not be ambiguous; it should be complete, clear, logical, simple and concise enough so that the construction manager and the contractor will easily understand it. A scope of work helps to understand what needs to happen on a project and the timeframe. Without it, contractors could be greatly overwhelmed by the complexity of the project. It is generally prepared by the client or the consultant.

A scope of work contains the following important items:

  • the contractor's responsibilities;
  • contract objectives and project requirements;
  • provides enough details to estimate labour costs;
  • a contracting method and the payment schedule;
  • standards, regulation, and special contract requirements; and
  • all related tasks, duties, and limitations required to obtain expected results in accordance with the project goal.

Basic Elements of a Scope of Work

A construction management scope of work must define the following components for it to be certified well-written:

  • Project Overview
  • The project overview briefly outlines the project summary. It defines the project requirements, the payment schedule; include important details to calculate labour cost, and specifies the standards, rules and regulations of the contract.

  • Contract
  • A swell-written cope of work contains concise and precise contract responsibilities. It also defines the objectives of the contract and the method of contracting.

  • Project Deliverables
  • This defines the purpose of the project, that is, the reason the project is being executed. It explains specific expectations, goals and target objectives. Through this, the contractor is clear on the project requirements.

  • Project Scope
  • The project scope includes all the goals outlined in the construction contract. It states all the quantifiable data, as well as the budget and technical specifications. The project milestones can also be listed here.

  • Project Schedule
  • All the tasks to be done in the construction project are summarized here. It includes the delivery dates, the length of the entire project, and time restrictions. This helps the contractor to deliver the project on time.

  • Project Management
  • The criteria for project management are list in this component. They include the function of project administration; the details of issuing payments; the processes followed for changes or any alternations in work; important contract terms; important legal requirements; different stages of the project; the limitations of the project; the time management features, and overall contract administration.

Tips for Writing a Concise and Logical Scope of Work

  • Be clear in your choice of words
  • The scope of work must be devoid of ambiguity as stated earlier. Allowing ambiguity will lead to lack of clarity and multiple interpretations. This is likely to cause problems like litigation. Construction jargons should be avoided since not everybody is familiar with them. If it is unavoidable, a glossary of terms and condition that should be created at the end of the scope of work to explain the terms used.

  • Break down the project
  • The project goals should be outlined in broad terms. Then a high-level model of who will be working on the project and what types of subcontractors will you need to hire should be created. After this, the timing for everyone involved in the project and how different kinds of subs will overlap throughout the project should be clearly thought out.

  • Verify objectives and deliverables
  • The objectives and deliverables stated in the contract must be verified by the contractor as they comprise the foundation of a scope of work. Verifying the objectives and deliverables will help keep the project on track.

  • Use Visuals designs, diagrams 
  • Objectives and deliverables of the project can also be defined by visual models of the project design. The designs and diagrams should be clear for all subcontractors to view since they are in charge of carrying out the work drawn out in the design phase of a project. 

  • Signings
  • To finalize the scope of work, contractors should be allowed to sign off on each objective for the project. This strengthens the original contract as it means that they agree with the benchmarks. The signing will ensure that a new deliverable or change order needs to be submitted if anyone wants to change the scope. It also protects all the parties involved. 

Conclusion

A clear, complete Scope of Work outlines the work to be done, how it will be completed and by whom, and the expected outcomes. By knowing exactly what a scope is and what it should contain, you can get your budget estimate off to a strong start, setting your project up for success even before kick-off.

The more detail a statement of work includes, the greater the chance of project success. At the end of the day, a good scope of work will help reduce change orders, prevent delays, and avoid payment disputes.

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