Importance Of Clarifying the Scope of Work Before Beginning Construction

  • Editorial Team
  • Heavy Construction Equipment
  • 1 June 2022

Although the documents containing the scope of work of the construction project may just be a few pages long, the details they contain can make or break your project. If you want to reach the end goal of your project in time, make sure to clarify the scope of work. Doing so will not only save you time and money but also ensure a successful outcome for your project.

What exactly is a scope of work document?

Before you start working on a construction project, you need to outline all daily activities that will take place during the construction process in a written document, called a scope of work. It is a part of other contractual documents and details the objectives of the project among other things. The project crew’s responsibilities are also highlighted in this document as are terms and conditions. Essentially, the document containing the scope of work of the project should include detailed descriptions of all the specific activities that will need to take place for the successful completion of the project.

You may also have more than one scope of work document for the project. It is possible that the design team may present their own architect-engineer scope for the project. Even if that is the case, the construction team should still present a construction process scope for the project. Although this article focuses on the construction process scope, it should be noted that having a detailed scope is important no matter the process it details.

Owners have certain expectations for the end result of the project, and these should be laid out clearly in the scope of work document. Having a clearly defined scope of work document will ensure that the contractor and construction crew know exactly what is being asked of them. When they know what is expected of them, they will be able to create a plan to successfully achieve those results.

Whose responsibility is it to create the scope of work document?

Just as a construction project is a collaborative effort, so is this scope of work document. For the creation of the scope of work, the owner of the project works closely with the construction crew to make them aware of their expectations and needs for the project. After that, the construction crew will classify the owner’s requirements into deliverables and milestones in the scope of work document.

Some construction teams have scope of work templates that they customize according to the project, but other teams develop the document in its entirety. No matter which way you choose to develop the document, it is important to get the owner’s input while doing so. Collaboration is essential for a scope of work document as it is, in essence, an agreement between both parties and is supposed to reflect both parties’ interests and expectations. Before the final scope is created, the owners should get a copy of a drafted scope so that they can ask questions and make revisions wherever necessary.

Why do you need to clarify the scope of work?

The scope of work is an essential document of any construction project. It requires clarity to be effective. By being specific in the document about the expectations of both parties, you can prevent any issues from arising down the line.

Avoid Mistakes

By being clear about your expectations in the scope of work, you leave less room for interpretation. What this means is that the contractor can go ahead and start working without needing further clarifications. This also means that there will not be any mistakes that the contractor will have to correct later. Although correcting work is important, it is better to have the correct work already in place to save time and money. Extra expenses that arise due to rework put an unnecessary strain on the work relationship of both parties.

Ensure Timely Arrival of Equipment and Material

With the current supply chain issues, it is important for contractors to plan ahead so they can ensure the successful completion of the project. When you have a clear scope of work, you will be able to create a schedule for deliveries so all the necessary equipment, like a CAT 160H, and other material for the project arrives on time. If you do not plan ahead and schedule deliveries, you may have to spend a lot of time waiting for equipment with long lead times.