Procuring Statement of Work (SOW) based projects

Why solid project management experience is an essential core competency to measure when selecting SOW vendors.  A supplier’s perspective . . .

For most large companies with a significant investment in, and a reliance on technology, the use of both SOW (Statement of Work) and T&M (Time and Materials) contracts for initiating and delivering technical projects is common.  Traditionally, supplier selection processes have been separated for each approach whereby SOW projects would be handled by the Procurement Department and the company’s technical management team, while T&M suppliers are usually managed by those responsible for contingent workforce acquisition.

In recent years, however, Contingent Workforce Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are increasingly playing a dual role in supporting the selection and management of both SOW and T&M vendors.  Several of the challenges and solutions heard from MSP’s managers who have undertaken SOW project resourcing include:

  • Identifying and screening for true SOW providers.  For every ten T&M suppliers, there are nine who would like, or claim, to be proficient in executing successful SOW projects.  References are key here.
  • Evaluating SOW suppliers based on their ability to manage projects as well as on their technical experience is vital.  An SOW supplier should be able to demonstrate a successful background in scoping project requirements, an ability to determine the level of effort needed to meet deliverable timelines and establish a comprehensive project plan. These project management elements are just part of the success equation.  Ongoing project governance experience is also essential with a proven methodology in handling scope creep, change management and ensuring continuous alignment between project deliverables and client expectations.
  • Relevant technical experience specific to the project at hand.  As important as project management and governance experience is in the selection of SOW suppliers, so too the SOW supplier must have the technical background called for in the project objectives.  This technical experience should be at all levels of the SOW supplier’s organization not only at the execution level but also in those who are managing the project.
  • Evaluating the supplier’s project management methodology and governance practices in prior projects is an important benchmark to gauge future performance.  It is important to understand the supplier’s approach to Scope Management, Resource Planning, Risk Management, Reporting and Project Controls Management, Change Management and SOW Contract Governance.

Beware of the SOW supplier who can do it all

In addition to a robust T&M business in the U.S., Europe and Asia, PRIMUS has had two decades of SOW experience.  We understand the value in a comprehensive vendor evaluation process to evaluate our capabilities and experience in delivering successful SOW projects.  The growth of our SOW business units is highly contingent on the success of each project completed.  This begins with making sure we are the “right” vendor for the task at hand.   

Now celebrating our 22nd year of service and with over 3000 employees and consultants working in the U.S. and internationally, PRIMUS Global Services supports clients across a range of technologies and functional areas. For more information:

PRIMUS Global Services, Inc. (Global HQ)
1431 Greenway Drive, Suite 750
Irving, TX 75038
(972) 753-6500 x117

SOW Services in Software Application Development, Implementation and Support (Java/J2EE and .Net)

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