With organisations looking for more effective ways to engage the skills they need to deliver their projects, Statement of Works (SoW) are growing in popularity.
For organisations to utilise them effectively though, there needs to be a great deal of review and scrutiny that goes into their decision-making process.
Accessing specialist skills
Where a Statement of Work solution works well is when elements of a project require specialist skills – often not found in the local temporary workforce community. Organisations first need to review which project delivery components could potentially be delivered by a service provider as opposed to contingent workers, and scope out the requirements for the package of work.
Statement of Works should run independently from how directly employed and contingent workers are engaged, because your organisation will be entering into a contract with another company to deliver services for you, not a person. It’s therefore crucial that the requirements covered in the SoW can be delivered with no direct control from you, with the service provider left with the responsibility of managing the day-to-day operations in line with pre-agreed milestone and project deliverables.
Where organisations are looking for greater control over how the work is completed, a SoW solution may not be as well suited as an employment approach.
Navigating the tender process
Appointing service providers to complete your Statement of Works is approached in a very different way to engaging permanent or non-permanent workers. A full Request For Proposal (RFP) tender process is needed to invite service providers to bid for the package of work, review their capability and experience, then select the right provider to complete the project requirements.
It’s a comprehensive process, that needs to be built with transparency and integrity – including developing a ranking matrix to review and analyse each service provider, benchmarking them against key indicators such as past experience and project delivery capability. Which our clients often feel an external consultancy approach working with our dedicated team provides the 360 degree overview required to get the process right.
“Organisations will often require a mix of Statement of Works alongside traditional recruitment engagement models such as contingent workers to effectively deliver their projects. The key is to accurately assess which key elements of the projects can effectively and genuinely be delivered through an experienced service provider autonomously following a SoW.”
– Andy Iddon, Linx Project Delivery Manager
Managing the risk
With the service provider being engaged to complete the work, the SoW contractual agreement can be developed to clearly set out who maintains responsibility for project delivery and, crucially, any incurred costs where project delays impact other suppliers or delivery timescales. It’s therefore important that Statement of Work contracts are extensively critiqued to ensure organisations can effectively manage the risk to their own business.
Ensuring project governance
Once the service provider is engaged onto the project, ongoing governance will be required to ensure they are performing against the pre-agreed milestones and project deliverables. With payments released in line with the contractual terms, and where all key performance indicators and service level requirements have been met.
At Linx we work with our clients to devise effective review measures to managed service providers and report back on performance. Leaving our clients to focus on the overall project delivery, secure in the knowledge that all packages of work are being progressed effectively.
We help organisations look at how alternative engagement models such as Statement of Works can be developed to complement their wider contingent workforce recruitment processes to gain access to the right specialist skills for optimum project delivery.