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Previously, we examined the details of what goes into different Scopes of Work as well as how to properly source a scope. These two articles explain how beginning a project with a well-constructed and well-informed SOW saves money, saves time and prevents setbacks. But the benefits of a clear, comprehensive SOW extend beyond the budget estimate and ripple throughout the life of the project.
Here we wrap up this series by outlining three major operational advantages a clearly defined scope can bring your project.
Everyone involved in the construction process, from planning to operations, can agree they all want the same thing: for the project to be completed on time and within budget. This simple wish is often hard to achieve, with the bulk of projects going over budget or exceeding timelines. A thorough SOW does not guarantee that a project will stay on track or finish within cost forecasts, but a bad SOW guarantees it will not.
By having and following your clearly defined Scope of Work, the parties involved in preconstruction planning are able to create realistic budgets. From planning to execution, following a comprehensive SOW gives contractors the ability to set explicit benchmarks in order to keep projects moving.
Paperwork is unfortunately hard to avoid. But by creating a clear and complete SOW, it doesn’t have to dominate an owner’s time. A well-thought-out scope can minimize the amount of necessary paperwork during the course of a project. By scoping precisely and comprehensively, fewer items are left open to interpretation. This results in fewer emails sent back and forth with the team for clarifications, a reduction in change orders due to misinterpretation and more time to devote to revenue-generating activities.
In construction, working relationships can be put under pressure due to many factors, including difficult discussions focused on project requirements, changes and mishaps. In fact, a 2017 SmartMarket Report from Dodge Data & Analytics revealed that 75 percent of building owners and contractors have experienced a dispute or claim over the last three years. The same report notes that 90 percent of respondents cited collaboration as a means of limiting exposure to financial risk.
A clear Scope of Work can reduce misunderstandings, resulting in smooth projects and less disputes. This nurtures positive relationships between building owners, contractors, subcontractors and other key stakeholders. The scope serves to communicate early on what the project is to accomplish, which assists in collaboration as well. Team members can recommend materials and methods that achieve the same goals with less time and/or less money. This early collaboration goes a long way to establish healthy relationships.
There’s another constituency who benefits indirectly from a clear scope: building users. All the collaboration and teamwork that happens before a facility is up ultimately results in higher quality work. And higher quality work creates happy occupants. From beginning to end, a carefully created Scope of Work serves as a reliable way to communicate important details to all parties involved in a project. From preconstruction to operations, the SOW serves to lay out realistic budgets, maintain achievable timelines and foster healthy, happy working relationships.
Learn more about how your Scope of Work can lead you to a realistic budget in this eBook.