The majority of existing Government contracts include a Statement of Work (SOW) that forms the basis for successful performance by the contractor and effective administration of the contract by the Government. A well-written SOW enhances the opportunity for all potential Offerors to compete equally for Government contracts and serves as the standard for determining if the contractor meets stated performance requirements.
Another concept called the Statement of Objectives (SOO) shifts the responsibility for preparing the SOW from the Government to the solicitation respondents. Recent DoD direction to lower Government costs encourages innovative contract options and flexible design solutions. The SOO captures the top level objectives of a solicitation -- risk management, for instance -- and allows the Offerors freedom in the structure and definition of SOW tasks as they apply to the proposed approach. The following paragraphs contain two SOW examples and one SOO example constructed from a number of Navy program solicitations.
Risk Management and Reporting: The
Contractor shall maintain a risk management program to assess risks
associated with achievement of technical, cost, and schedule requirements.
Specific risk management functions shall, at a minimum:
- Identify known and potential risks
- Assess risks, including a relative ranking by program impact and the
establishment of critical thresholds
- Define methods or alternatives to mitigate or minimize these risks,
including the identification of criteria upon which programmatic decisions
can be based
- Track and report risk mitigation progress
The contractor’s risk management program will be presented to the Government initially for concurrence and then in monthly updates and at in-process and other appropriate reviews.
Risk Management: The Contractor shall implement a Risk Management Program in accordance with the XYZ Risk Management Plan using the Navy’s "Top Eleven Ways to Manage Technical Risk" publication as a guide. The initial set of
Contractor-defined risks shall be updated as the Government or Contractor
identifies new risks. The Contractor shall rank risks with respect to impact
on performance, cost, and schedule and shall identify and develop mitigation
plans for risk reduction/resolution.