Statement of Work (SOW) Guide
A Statement of Work (SOW) is a legally enforceable agreement that can be used with Technology Services procurements.
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
- IT Staffing Services
- Cloud Services (when an SOW is executed)
- Comprehensive Web Development
- Digital Management Services
- Complex services such as software or hardware customizations, integration, or overall project solutions
State Agencies Only
Per TGC 2157.0685, State Agencies are required to submit SOWs for DIR review and approval prior to solicitation to Vendors (award value over $50,000). DIR must review and sign the final SOW before it becomes valid and any money is paid to a vendor. State agencies must follow threshold requirements for IT commodity items.
Learn more about the SOW process or access the SOW portal.
While a Statement of Work is unique for each project, the SOW elements are generally consistent across projects.
Basic Elements include:
- Scope of Project
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Period of Performance/Schedule
- Service Levels
- Acceptance Criteria
Additional SOW Elements to consider per project include:
- Security standards
- Accessibility compliance
- Introduction and Background
- Evaluation and Response Submission Requirements
- Additional Customer Terms and Conditions
- Transition Plan
- Other considerations – DCS; Hosting; Disaster Recovery Plan
- Award – will it be a single award or multiple vendors
- Eligibility requirements
- Additional Terms and Conditions - Customers 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 statute.
Statement of Work Reviews do not apply to:
- Shared Technology Services Program
- Communications Technology Services
- Managed Services for Telecommunications contracts have a separate review process for approval of SOW.
State agencies submit their Draft and Final SOWs to DIR for review and approval through the DIR SOW Portal. Register and log into the SOW Portal through the DIR Applications Portal page.
Each agency submitter will have a unique login to access the SOW Portal. Submitters are identified as either:
- Submitter - The submitter will only have access to the SOWs that they submitted; or
- Superusers - A superuser will have access to all the SOW's for their agency
To Add/Remove/Modify an SOW Portal User, the agency's Superuser sends an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include in the request Agency name, contact name, phone, e-mail address, and indicate if the role to create will be Superuser or Submitter.
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.
Waterfall (Traditional) 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
- 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
The Agile Methodology is based on iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams.
- 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
- Inspect and Adapt is an agile best practice used to capture the idea of discovering emergent requirements
- Working product is the primary measure of progress.
- Working product with progressively increasing functionality can be shared with customer after each iteration.
- 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
Templates & Resources
Template for developing Statement of Work (SOW) for End-User IT Sourcing.
Template for developing Statement of Work (SOW) for ITSAC (IT Staffing) Services
Template for developing Statement of Work (SOW) for Cloud Services.
User guide for State Agencies on using the SOW Portal application. Customers can submit and review SOWs through this portal.