RFP Scope of Work: How Do I Write a SOW for an RFP?

RFP scope of work template

A Scope of Work (SOW) is a fundamental piece of a Request for Proposal (RFP) and describes what the company is looking to achieve as a result of the RFP. The SOW helps ensure that the product or service meets the company’s needs and establishes the parameters of what could be included in the resulting contract. It should also contain an overall timeline detailing any milestones, reports, deliverables and/or end products. To put it simply, a Scope of Work communicates expectations clearly between you and the client. 

So, let’s break down what an RFP Scope of Work looks like into sections. At a minimum, your SOW should contain the following: 

RFP Scope of Work (SOW) Glossary

In this section, you should define any terms or acronyms used in the SOW. Clearly defining your company-specific terms helps better explain who you are and what you do. This will help reduce any ambiguity and confusion throughout the SOW.

Problem Statement

Concisely describe the problem that should be solved. Define the current state of the environment as well as any completed activities to date as part of the project. Be brief but thorough to show the client you understand the problem they are trying to solve and what is needed to provide solutions. 


Detail the end goal of the project. Answer the question, “What’s the point of this RFP?” Be brief and succinct. Keep this to a few sentences or one (1) paragraph in length. This allows the client to gain confidence that you understand the RFP and are the best option to help them achieve their desired solution. 

Deliverables in the RFP Scope of Work

This section should outline the deliverables of the project and the associated tasks for each deliverable. Use plenty of detail here so both parties understand what to do and who’s responsible. Outline deliverables with an easy-to-read table. This will help the client understand what will be done, when and by whom. 

Communication Plan

Outline any meetings, calls or reviews in this section of the SOW. SOWs should include a regular cadence of check-ins or project status updates to ensure that the project is moving forward. This assures the client that you will be in regular communication and work with them to complete the project to their satisfaction.

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This section lays out all the dates for the project. It should also cover due dates for deliverables and incorporate any dates relating to the Communication Plan. Therefore, tables are helpful in this section to show a clear timeline for the duration of the project and make sure everyone’s expectations are met. 

Avoid the main problem that plagues Scopes of Work: lack of specificity. A well-thought-out SOW tells the issuer that you evaluated the RFP in detail. In short, it conveys that you are confident in your ability to meet their needs. 

RFP Scope of Work (SOW) Questions?

You can also now use this SOW template as part of your outline for future bids. For example, bids often require a cover letter, technical and/or financial capabilities section(s), formatting requirements and a Scope of Work (SOW). After you create an SOW for one bid, create templates for other sections. For example, carry over the Glossary section, any standard employee assignments, and generic timeline tables for use in future bids. Now you can reuse that concise and professional SOW as a template and save time and resources in the future. 

While an RFP Scope of Work is critical to winning a bid, sometimes you may need an extra hand to successfully see the bid process through to its completion. If you’re looking for more tips on how to leverage your content into an impressive RFP response, check out our Learning Center. We offer all sorts of RFP writing and bidding advice, like The Dos and Don’ts of RFP Cover Letters and Writing a Successful RFP Executive Summary.

At The Bid Lab, we help businesses that are both new to and experienced with the bidding process. Our expert, dedicated team can manage everything. From reviewing RFP requirements with a fine-tooth comb to writing, editing and submitting a beautifully designed proposal, we’re here to help. So, find out how we can further help your team by scheduling a free consultation today! Or, give us a call at 1-844-4BIDLAB or email us at respond@thebidlab.com