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SECTION 1 CONSIDERATIONS FOR PREPARING A STATEMENT OF WORK (SOW) What is a Statement of Work? A Statement of Work (SOW) is a definition of requirements. See Section 3 of this document, Statement of Work
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SECTION 1 CONSIDERATIONS FOR PREPARING A STATEMENT OF WORK (SOW) What is a Statement of Work? A Statement of Work (SOW) is a definition of requirements. See Section 3 of this document, Statement of Work (SOW) Samples. Statement of Work A written description of the work to be performed under a purchase order to satisfy particular needs. In simple transactions, it can consist of the line items on the face of the purchase order that define what is being purchased; each item of which may include specifications. Specification A generic term to refer to a written requirement of a purchase order that provides a concise and accurate description of the services to be provided. Minimum Criteria The purchase order must include at a minimum the following information: Detailed statement of the purpose, objective or goals Personnel job classification/skill level* Name/identification of assigned contractor personnel Identification of all significant material to be developed/delivered Completion/acceptance criteria Delivery timeframe/liquidated damages Estimated time schedule (start date, end date, milestones) Estimated number of work hours Fixed cost for each task (fixed price ceiling is the sum of all tasks)* Everything pertinent to the successful completion of the purchase order (e.g., technical specifications, floor plans, etc.) *The purchase order must reflect the same position title, skill level, and fixed cost and/or hourly rate as specified in the contract. Assume that the required deliverable will not be provided by the Contractor unless specifically spelled out in the purchase order. Do not rely on verbal agreements or assumptions. See Section 2 of this document for a List of Questions that can be used as a checklist when developing a Statement of Work Sample SOW Criteria -Resumes/references -Insurance -Installation (multiple sites) -Risk Factors -Interface concerns March SECTION 1 CONSIDERATIONS FOR PREPARING A STATEMENT OF WORK (SOW), Continued Sample SOW Criteria (continued) -Maintenance (escalation, remedial, preventive) -Financing or payment arrangements -Liquidated damages (late delivery) -Financial responsibility -Transition/implementation (phased) -Federal funding (Debarment Certification) -Task Delineation -Warranty -Data conversion -Fiscal Year funding -Timeframe constraints or timelines -Security -Project management -Backup -Deliverables -Analyze existing system for performance needs, features, attributes, reports -Selection criteria -Reporting during development (status, problems change control, money, approval hierarchy, problem escalation or resolution, walkthroughs) -Public works (not acceptable) -Testing (when, what type) -Licensed software vs. developed (number of users, future modifications, ongoing support) -S/DVBE participation goals -Unanticipated tasks -Cost/budget limits -Supplies -Early payment discount -Training (administrative/user) -FSR (get a copy) -Product needs To Do List DO solicit the input and advice of the program people who will receive and use the product and/or service. DO prepare the SOW in terms of the results that are desired and the performance that is expected. DO tell the Contractor how such results or performance will be measured and how acceptance of the product or service will be defined and accomplished. DO structure the SOW so the Contractor can propose a complete solution to the stated problem rather than merely offering the individual items requested. DO NOT tell the Contractor how to do the job; for example: staff the project with this number of people with the following qualifications. DO determine the full range of the problem to be solved. The SOW should be comprehensive. DO decide what is really required to meet the government's needs. March SECTION 1 CONSIDERATIONS FOR PREPARING A STATEMENT OF WORK (SOW), Continued To Do List (continued) DO determine the minimum required. How little can you do and still meet your needs? DO distinguish between the must do and the nice to have. DO determine how the nice to have will be evaluated if they are proposed. DO determine the value to the government of the extras and try to quantify them. DO write a new SOW for each procurement. DO NOT just cobble together standard paragraphs from previous procurements. There are bound to be inconsistencies, gaps, and errors. Resolving these will delay the completion of the procurement. DO review the SOW even if the product or service is one that has been purchased before. Perhaps the requirements have changed, or there is a newer technological solution to the problem, or the marketplace has changed and what was once a specialty product or service is now commercially available off-the-shelf. March SECTION 2 QUESTIONS FOR DEVELOPING STATEMENT OF WORK This section provides important aspects to be considered before establishing any type of Statement of Work (SOW). A. Description of Goods/Services to be Provided (overview) What product or service is to be provided? Purchase of commercially available hardware? Purchase of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software? Outsourcing (or privatizing) a function or service? Custom software development? Design, development, and integration of a new system or system upgrade? What quantity do you expect to purchase? Maximum? Minimum? for hardware, software, or services. (If this is omitted, the Contractor cannot determine how to allocate/amortize up-front costs or whether the inherent risks are worth taking over the long term). Is there any guaranteed minimum quantity? What happens if it is not met? Is there a maximum quantity to be ordered? What if the maximum is exceeded? B. Period of Performance What is the period of performance? C. Delivery Requirements What are the delivery requirements for equipment, software, or other products? How soon do you need it? What is the F.O.B. point? Who is responsible for shipping? How must equipment be packaged? Who is responsible for unpacking? How will partial shipments and back orders be handled? What are the acceptance procedures for each delivery? How will problems or deficiencies in delivery be handled? D. Equipment Purchased What hardware will be purchased? What are the physical requirements for the hardware? Size? Operating conditions? What are the functional specifications? What is the hardware expected to do? What features are desired? Cabling? Wiring? Communication costs? Documentation requirements? Diagrams? What existing hardware will be interfacing with the new equipment? March SECTION 2 QUESTIONS FOR DEVELOPING STATEMENT OF WORK, Continued What are the requirements for accessibility and use by the handicapped? Is there a need for a given brand name or will a brand name or equal specification meet the requirement? What is the requirement for availability of replacement parts? What happens if equipment purchased is no longer maintainable? E. Software Purchased What software will be included in the procurement? Will software be custom developed or commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)? What is the requirement for including software upgrades? What are the licensing requirements? Is the license for a machine, a site, or an agency? Is the license perpetual, annual, monthly, or extended use? What are the rights of licensor and licensee to use, disclose, sell, or reproduce the software? Are manuals on using the software included in the purchase? Are they standard or custom? Are there minimum requirements for content or format? How many will be provided? One for each software copy? One for each machine or user? What about other documentation? What is your requirement for availability of source code? For custom software? For commercial software? Do you really need it? (For example, you might need it if the government wants to be able to fix any bugs or do its own upgrades in the future. Having the source code provides some protection if the Contractor goes out of business or is overcharging for maintenance services.) Who owns the source code? Does contractor have the right to sell it to you? Do you want a copy of all the source codes, or will it be sufficient to put it in escrow? Do you want source code put in escrow for future use? How is source code maintained as software is upgraded by contractor? Is escrow software maintained also? Do you want copies of the programming tools used? F. Tasks to be accomplished/functions to be performed What are the specific tasks to be accomplished? What function or service is to be performed? What results are desired? Be as specific as possible. What is the workload, maximum and minimum, both historical and projected? G. Systems Integration Are there systems integration functions included in the procurement? What systems will be integrated? Hardware, software, communications? Do you want the integrator to analyze functional requirements and needs? Do you want the functions reengineered for increased efficiency? Or do you just want to computerize existing systems? Do you want an assessment of currently available technology and designs? Do you want the Contractor to design the system? March SECTION 2 QUESTIONS FOR DEVELOPING STATEMENT OF WORK, Continued Do you want the Contractor to select the hardware, software, and communications technology? Do you want the Contractor to purchase the system components? Do you want the Contractor to customize the system if necessary to meet the government's unique requirements? Do you want the Contractor to assemble, install, test, implement, and make the system operational? H. Data Handling Are there data handling functions included in the procurement? What is the workload (current/projected) with respect to the data and its users? What is the volume of data? Is there a requirement for data entry? How often is data changed or updated? Is real-time access to the data needed? What capacity is required (current/projected) to store the data? What response time is needed when accessing, entering, or maintaining the data? Will there be common access to given database from multiple users? Will there be access from multiple locations? Will there be access needed by multiple agencies? What are the security requirements for the data? How will it be protected? What reports and data are to be provided? What data is needed? Is there a standard form? Who needs it? When are the reports due? I. Outsourcing Computer Operations Are you outsourcing computer operations? What equipment will be operated? Make and model? How many? Do you want a help desk or hot line for questions and problems? What functions will the Contractor perform? What are the outputs? How often is each required output produced? To whom is each output distributed? What is the operations schedule? Around the clock? Business hours only? Other? J. Transition of Operations to New Contractor How will you handle the transition of computer operations from government or previous contract to new Contractor? What is the time frame for the transition? What are the government s or previous contractor's responsibilities and tasks? What are the new contractor's responsibilities and tasks? Are you providing a transition plan and schedule, or do you want the Contractor to provide them? March SECTION 2 QUESTIONS FOR DEVELOPING STATEMENT OF WORK, Continued K. Training Is there a requirement for training of government or contractor staff? Who will be trained? When will training occur? What methodology will be used? Classroom? Videotape? Computer based? Where will training be conducted? Locally? At a distant location? On-site in government space? At contractor site? At some central location? Who is responsible for providing training? What equipment will be needed to provide training? Who is responsible for providing equipment? L. Installation Requirements What are the installation requirements for equipment or software? When can the Contractor inspect the installation location? Who develops the specifications for the installation location? What are the existing physical conditions at the installation location? Do these conditions meet the requirements for successful installation of equipment? If not, who is responsible for modifications to the installation location to prepare the site to receive the equipment? Who is responsible for architecture and engineering associated with required modifications? Who is responsible for construction? Who is responsible for specifying cabling and wiring requirements? For installing cabling and wiring? Who is responsible for communications costs? Telephone and data lines? Who is responsible for installation of new equipment? For software, who is responsible for preparing the existing hardware to receive new software? Who is responsible for installing new software? What is the required time frame for delivery, installation, inspection and testing, training and operations? M. Test and Acceptance Procedures What are the test and acceptance procedures? What are the criteria for acceptance? Will the government or the Contractor develop the test procedures and test plan? What are the minimum requirements for the test procedures, test plan, and test reports? N. Maintenance Requirements What are the maintenance requirements for equipment and/or software? What are the requirements for mean time between failures (MTBF)? What are the requirements for mean time to repair (MTTR)? What is the required response time from initial call for repairs? March SECTION 2 QUESTIONS FOR DEVELOPING STATEMENT OF WORK, Continued Does response time differ for prime maintenance periods versus standby or on-call maintenance periods? Does it vary by time of day or day of week? What is the Contractor expected to do within the given response time? Just show up? Fix the problem? Other? Are there different maintenance periods (principal periods of maintenance versus secondary) with different levels of required support? What type of support is required? On-site? Use of remote diagnostics? Hot line support? Mail back? What is the requirement for availability of parts over the system life? O. Preventive Maintenance What preventive maintenance is expected from the Contractor? What is included? When will it be performed? Business hours or after? How long does it take? What is the system downtime during preventive maintenance? P. Warranty What warranty provisions will be acceptable from the Contractor? What is the time period for the warranty? Do you want the warranty to include consequential damages? Do you require the Contractor to warrant the equipment or software as fit for a given use? Do you require the Contractor to warrant software as bug free? Virus free? Free of harmful code ? Do you require the Contractor to warrant that the seller has the right to sell the software? Do you require a warranty for free repair for defects appearing within a given time? Or for repair of defective parts? What about post warranty maintenance? Q. Technology Refreshment Will the contract require or allow for technology refreshment? Before or after initial delivery? At same or lower cost only? Will cost increases be allowed if improved functionality is provided? R. Security Requirements What are the security issues? (Security issues range from simple preventive measures to prevent laptops from walking off, to protection of sensitive data about the public, as in a drivers' license database, to protection of politically sensitive information.) What are the threats? How much security is desired? How much security can be afforded? What is the tradeoff between risks and costs? March SECTION 2 QUESTIONS FOR DEVELOPING STATEMENT OF WORK, Continued S. Compatibility and Interface Requirements What are the compatibility and interface issues? What IT or software is already in use with which the new equipment or software must interface? Are existing files in hard copy or electronic? Will existing files work with new hardware/software? If not, who will do the data conversion? T. Performance Measurement Once the government has specified the product or service to be acquired, you need to decide how results will be measured and how performance will be judged. Is timeliness an issue? What about the quality of the product or service? Products, such as hardware and software, and services are discussed individually in the following section. Procedures for measuring the quality of hardware and software include the following: Having a live test demo. This can be held before or after selection of contractor. Having a benchmark test to see if the system does what you need it to do in your environment. Requesting an acceptance test. You will need to decide the criteria for passing it. Having an acceptance test period with given requirements for performance during that period. Specifying the system availability requirements for system acceptance. Specifying the requirements for system availability during system operation after system acceptance. Deciding how to define system availability; for example: total time available less downtime divided by total time available. Defining-system downtime, for example, when starts, and how to decide if the given item is the direct/only cause of the downtime. Deciding when and how government will be compensated for downtime. Performance Measurement for Services Services can be harder to measure than computer system performance. For example, the government needs to decide how to measure the Contractor's performance in comparison with the agency or government past performance of the given function. Performance requirements should be realistic and the measurement system needs to be fair to avoid holding the Contractor to a standard that is too high or too low. If the government is contracting-out an entire function rather than just meeting a temporary need or supplying software development or a product, here are some questions to be answered: What was agency past performance? How was it measured? Was past performance formally measured? Or was it simply a question of public perception? Are standards of performance the same for the Contractor as they were for the agency? In performing the service evaluation, could there be an attempt on the part of agency personnel to make the Contractor look bad or fail? March SECTION 2 QUESTIONS FOR DEVELOPING STATEMENT OF WORK, Continued Is the Contractor expected to work at the peak level of performance immediately, or is there a transition period with an anticipated improvement over time? What incentive for the Contractor to continue a high level of performance or to improve the performance level? U. Quality Control/Quality Assurance Existing laws of the government may mandate specific quality control or quality assurance oversight. For example, the government may require in-plant inspections during manufacture or may require the use of test labs or other facilities to identify nonconforming deliveries. These requirements may be beyond what the seller normally would allow. OTHER AREAS TO CONSIDER In addition to the areas specific to IT mentioned above, there are other issues that should be addressed in developing the SOW, including some personnel and contract administration issues, such as: Personnel: What personnel have been available to perform the function in the past? Number? Skill levels? What is anticipated for the future? What life cycle costs (purchase, operations, upgrades and maintenance, disposition) will be included in the evaluation? Have the benefits of leasing equipment compared to buying it been determined, or do you want the Contractor to do the evaluation? What costs should be included? Will contract be fixed price or cost reimbursable? Will there be financial incentives (or penalties) for good (or bad) performance? What are the line items to which given costs and payments will be attached? How will travel and other expenses be reimbursed? Who will finance the project? The Contractor or the government in the form of progress payments? When is payment made? At completion
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