Statement of Work (SOW)

State agencies are required to submit Statements of Work (SOW) to DIR for review prior to the submission to a vendor. SOW requirements are for state agencies only. Additionally, these SOWs must meet threshold requirements for commodity purchases. (Texas Administrative Code Section 212 SOW Requirements)

DIR has established contracts that prequalify vendors to respond to SOWs across a variety of technology categories, including:

  • Deliverables-Based Information Technology Services (DBITS),
  • End-User IT Outsourcing Services,
  • IT Security Services,
  • Cloud Services (when an SOW is executed)
  • Comprehensive Web Development
  • Digital Imaging Services
  • Complex services such as software or hardware customizations, integration, or overall project solutions

Program Exemptions

  • Statement of Work processes do not apply to contracts procured through the Data Center Services program signed by the contracted vendors (e.g. Atos, Capgemini and Xerox Corporation). However, all Statements of Work that are being administered through the Data Center Services program as a Pass-through expense will be subject to State Procurement Rules.
  • Statement of Work processes do not apply to agency customer agreements with the program, pursuant to its enabling statute (Subchapters F and I, Chapter 2054, Texas Government Code).
  • Thresholds do not apply to contracts for telecommunications services, such as TEX-AN Services and Managed Services for Telecommunications.
  • Managed Services for Telecommunications contracts have separate review process for approval of Statements of Work, but will not require DIR signature for executing the SOW.

Project Management Methodologies (Waterfall and Agile)

Deliverables based SOWs have traditionally followed the Waterfall project methodology that adheres to a fixed scope. However, not all SOWs are suited to Waterfall and agencies may want to consider the more iterative approach of the Agile project methodology.

Traditional Waterfall Methodology

Works well with projects that have assured predictability. The emphasis is on time and budget.

  • Assured predictability
  • Scope determined and fixed
  • Complete project planned up front
  • The final product is delivered to customer for approval
  • Follows a linear path working from high-level to low level
  • Challenges:
    • Projects become rigid and resistant to change
    • Focus is sometimes more about the process than the product of service being delivered
    • Significant amount of up-front analysis
    • Early sign off on requirements that might not be fully understood
    • Cost can be high due to extra effort spent fixing defects and having to rework design

Agile Methodology

Agile projects work well where there is a moderate level of uncertainty and complexity, and agreement on requirements has not been achieved (i.e., intangible requirements, pressure to get a working product to the user urgently, product/service development, IT [software], process development or improvement, periodic upgrades, etc.

  • Planning done as needed
  • Negotiate requirements
  • Working product with progressively increasing functionality can be shared with customer after each iteration
  • Ability to respond to change is high
  • Utilizes an iterative and incremental development process
  • Requirements and solutions evolve as a project moves forward using short sprints to develop identified pieces, and
  • Build upon sprints to allow for rapid and flexible response to change
  • Challenges:
    • Changing the team structure can negatively impact the project
    • Organizational buy in to the methodology
    • Changes in scope probable
    • Need for subject matter experts (SME) on the project team

SOW Templates

DIR has SOW Templates available for our customers' use. While a Statement of Work is unique for each project, the SOW elements are generally consistent across projects.

Agile SOW Template

Waterfall SOW Template

Basic Elements would include:

  • Scope of work
  • Project risks, assumptions and constraints
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Deliverables
  • Acceptance criteria
  • Project schedule to be achieved by vendor
  • Relevant quality processes

Additional SOW Elements to consider per project would include:

  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Submission/format
  • Confidentiality
  • Background Checks
  • Reports and Meetings
  • Customer Furnished Equipment and Workspace
  • Additional Terms and Conditions* - Agencies may include additional requirements so long as they do not conflict or weaken the terms and conditions of the DIR master contract. These items, while not mandatory, should be reviewed to ensure they are applicable and do not conflict with proposed DIR Contracts or statue.

Click to learn more about Effective SOWs for DBITS - Doc(43.4 KB)

Submitting a Statement of Work to DIR

State agencies will submit Statements of Work through DIR's SOW Portal.

To Add/Remove/Modify a Portal User an Agency Superuser would send an e-mail to Provide Agency name, contact name, phone, e-mail address, and indicate if role should be Superuser or Submitter. Superuser has access to all SOW submittals for the agency. Submitter can only access the SOWs they initiated.

Download the SOW User Guide for more information.

The Process:

SOW Process.png

The following provides additional information about DBITS

Available Deliverables-Based IT Services - DOCX (18 KB)

Effective SOWs for DBITS -DOCX (18KB)

Agile SOW Template -DOCX (18KB)

Waterfall SOW Template -DOCX (18KB)

SOW User Guide

For questions about the SOW process, please email Mary Vickery or contact her by phone at 512-475-4544.