Start Date: June 30, 2000

Wise-Women List Archive File

Subject: Preparing a statement of work/specification document

Hope to get some good ideas from everyone -- I''m in the process of preparing a statement of work for a client for whom we've been doing a critical analysis, and for whom we'll be doing some heavy-duty coding on her web-based data app. The primary sections I'm using to document the process are:
I. Outline of work
II. Database, table structures, and relationships
III. Code, directory structure, and naming conventions
IV. Site Navigation
V. Security

What am I missing? Are there suggestions for putting controls in place for limiting "scope creep" (always a big danger of that!). How do you usually present your specifications to your clients? And in how much detail?

What browsers will the design be geared to? Who is the target audience? What web technologies will be used? What kind of server will be used? How will maintenance of the site be handled?

I often specify the work that I do that will encompass no more than xx number of hours.

Other things that come to mind that can be problematic if not clearly stated: Changes, modifications, receiving all documentation IN FINAL FORM from client by ______ Date in order for you to do the work and complete it by _______ date.

I don't know how many times I've received the content from a client, which I added to the webpages, and then they send me revised version (maybe more than once, too!). That can eat up a lot of time. I make sure it's stated in the contract that all materials must be in FINAL form. And if not, then they will be charged at my hourly rate.

Regarding site navigation, will there be graphics designed? If so, simple, complex? Once again, changes, modifications?

Also, state what's NOT included in the contract (such as hunting for hours for information for them, photos, copywriting, editing, whatever -- so consider that, too.).

Related article on the Wise-Women site: MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding)