Clear and Consistent Framework: Scope of Work Management Series, Part 3

Posted by Richard Benyon on Jul 20, 2015 2:35:00 PM



Scope of Work Clear and Consistent Framework 


A well-controlled Scope of Work program is an integral part of a robust framework for planning and communication between client and agency. 

While looking into the elements of a Scope of Service and Scope of Work program, one aspect found in good SOW programs is consistency of terminology. One recommendation is to create a “dictionary” of terms for your organization. The goal of this "dictionary" is to break down the overall SOW into manageable and consistent building blocks. This allows new team members to more quickly understand the components and to learn the language and nuances of the organization. Below are additional elements to guide you through this process.

Defined List of Services


Create a defined list of services that your company sources from its agencies. Rather than allowing free-format definitions of what is to be purchased, ensure that users pick from a list of pre-defined agency services. This provides consistency and also acts as a reminder to the marketer, ensuring that all aspects of the marketing mix are reviewed when defining what they are seeking.

Some Services from a List from the 4 A's and ANA Comprehensive Guide include:

  • Strategic planning
  • Market research
  • Creative development and execution for all (or selected) media and non-media venues
  • Production, casting/talent, licensing, traffic, and art buying
  • Media planning, research, and buying
  • Internet/interactive, search, and Web site (e.g., strategy, design, or programming)
  • Public relations and public affairs
  • Database, direct marketing, and customer relationship management
  • Sales and in-store promotions, channel marketing, and sponsorship
  • Experiential marketing, events, trade shows, and exhibits

Master List of Deliverables


Similarly, create a master list of deliverables that your agencies either currently produce or anticipate producing on your behalf. Over time you should be able to build a database of the actual deliverables produced by each agency and track the approximate cost of those deliverables by type. For those interested in shifting from a labor-based compensation methodology to one that incorporates more output-based fees this will prove invaluable.

Other Considerations


Ideas from other leading SOW programs are to standardize the phases of work (e.g. Strategy,

Ideation, Execution etc) while others categorize the expected complexity for each part of the process. This should be considered in both the creative and media related fields.

Certainly definitions of markets (regions or countries) and customer segments / audiences should be consolidated.


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