The importance of setting a clear scope of work with your regulatory compliance software vendor

S. O. W. Three letters which define your project, its associated milestones and your expected outcomes. And without which, you may struggle against the burden of undelivered promises, delayed timelines and, in the worst cases, an overwhelming sense of buyer’s remorse.

For enterprise level compliance teams, working with your regulatory compliance technology partner to clearly define your project’s scope, and everything therein, is arguably the most critical step to a successful technology implementation. Why? Because it level sets the playing field, ensuring every party knows the critical dates and deliverables expected from their teams.

But let’s start with some definitions. While scope of work and statement of work are sometimes used interchangeably, they have slightly different meanings. According to Asana, “A scope of work is a subset of the statement of work document that describes how the project goals will be achieved.”

In setting a clear statement of work, one which includes the subset of your scope, and aligning with your technology partner’s delivery team to formulate the deliverables and contractual obligations to which they will be held accountable, you ultimately set yourself up for success.

Critical steps to secure a statement of work and avoid undelivered promises with your compliance technology vendor

So, how do you get started? And what are the key steps to ensure your project scope meets expectations and timelines?

1.Partner with your vendor.

Throughout the duration of your implementation process, your compliance technology vendor is your righthand, your partner through every critical milestones. Selecting the right vendor can be the make or break between a successful implementation, and one that fails to meet deadlines and expectations.

With that being said, a good vendor should work with your team to identify your project’s goals, functional requirements, timelines and key steps. Failing to do so upfront or in the procurement process is a clear sign that you may not be getting the true partner you hoped for.

2. Agree on deliverables.

Without alignment, your expectations and the actual deliverables you receive could be worlds apart. Leaving your team frustrated and your vendor unaware that anything has gone wrong. Take the time to agree on any and all technical deliverable, including your key integration points.

3. Set a Statement of Work.

Your statement of work should detail everything from an overview of the project to the approach, phase and tasks, deliverables, timeline, milestones, payments and more. Think of this as your one source of truth for the project with the documentation and the details to back up your expectations and your vendor’s obligations.

4. Establish a realistic schedule for the project.

While a schedule for your project will likely be included in your statement of work, it bears enough weight to call out on its own. We’ve all heard the horror stories of a project scoped for three months that ended up taking over a year to complete. Creating a realistic timetable with clear milestones and deadlines helps your vendor maintain momentum and gives you proper insight into what to expect and when to expect it.

In an enterprise level compliance program, integrating a new compliance technology is no small task, and doing so efficiently and effectively will require a clear scope of work to ensure promises are met and end goals are delivered. Having worked with countless teams across multiple continents, we understand the importance of accurately and precisely scoping a project to meet unique needs and requirements.

Ready to see how we can help you perfect your compliance program? Schedule a demo today!