Navigating Uncertainty: How to Save Money & Ensure Project Success in Tough Times.

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The world of business is constantly changing. Economic uncertainty, reduced budgets, squeezed margins and fewer resources can make it difficult to manage your project delivery without support from external suppliers. 

While clients want to secure the best deal, they need to be confident that they will get the best service.

Suppliers on the other hand, want to deliver a great service yet need to be commercially aware of the potential for scope creep and the resulting impacts on margin. 

These stresses create pressure on all parties and an urgent need to ensure there is a transparent way of working to manage, not only the requirements, but also the deliverables, reporting, approvals and milestone payments during the execution phase.  

How can all parties ensure a successful outcome?  

Creating a contract between the parties is an obvious starting point, but when the project plan or budget changes, the contract needs to be considered as part of that change and updated accordingly. 

It’s therefore important to create a contract that is treated as a living document with a process that simplifies any changes that are required. 

This is where a Statement of Work (SOW) provides documented control. 

A single document, mutually agreed by both parties, that not only defines the requirements, milestones and payments, but also provides an immutable reference to track and monitor delivery, approval and payment during execution.  

In times of ongoing change, SOWs are an even more helpful tool for managing each element of a project to be delivered by external suppliers by providing a clear plan for how the delivery will be executed and help to keep the project on track.  

Unfortunately, even though SOWs are extremely important they are, in the main, drafted using basic desktop tools and formalised using PDF.  

This process means that the hours, days, weeks, or even months taken to craft a hugely valuable document from a data perspective, ultimately results in an inert document that, once signed, has no direct impact or influence on the actual execution of services other than to act as an aide-memoir. 

As a result, they are labour intensive to monitor and keep up to date, so inevitably either end up languishing in a desk drawer or being summarised into a tracking tool creating multiple sources of truth and additional admin overhead.  

And this is the point.
SOW’s are more than just a contract. They are your governance, your deliverables, your milestones, your dependencies, your assumptions, your source of truth and, most importantly, your value.

So why not create them in a way that means the value you put into generating them, is directly used to realise value throughout the delivery lifecycle as a digitally transformed ‘living’ document? 

Overcoming the challenges  

A living SOW can help identify any potential issues or delays early on, so that they can be addressed before they become a major problem. Additionally, they can provide a way to measure progress, validate delivery, approve milestone payments and make sure that the project is on budget. 

Now, more than ever, with such ongoing change in the environments around projects, it is essential to not only create your SOWs more cost effectively but to extract as much value as possible from those costs.  

To do so, they need to be in a consistent format, easily accessed by relevant stakeholders, and able to be monitored with real-time data and information. 

This is where Contora can help…

We ensure that your projects are successful in tough times. Our system helps you to:  

      • Reduce your administration/back office costs by as much as 60% whilst providing stronger governance and financial control throughout the SOW lifecycle
      • Plan and organise supplier engagements more effectively, with tools for creating and managing project SOWs, from creation to reconciliation 
      • Collaborate and communicate effectively with team members, clients, and other stakeholders, with tools for sharing documents, files, and other project-related information.  
      • Monitor and track milestone progress, with dashboards for tracking task completion, identifying potential issues, and measuring project performance. 
      • Make real-time data-driven decisions, with tools for generating reports.
      • Keep track of delivery risks and issues, with tools for identifying, assessing, and managing risks.  
      • Streamline project management processes, with tools for automating repetitive tasks, such as approvals and notifications.  
      • Increase visibility and control over projects, with tools for managing project scope, quality, and change requests. 
      • Integrate with existing Source-to-Pay solutions to minimise duplication and human error

Would you like to know more?  

At Contora, we help companies to manage and organise their supplier engagements more effectively, and make better project decisions based on real-time data, all of which can help reduce costs and increase the chances of project success in tough times. If you would like to see how we can ensure the success of your projects, please contact us or click here to find out more

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A statement of work (SOW) is like a ‘micro’ project plan in that it describes the precise tasks, deliverables, dates, and services needed for a portion, or all, of a project that will be delivered by an external provider. The significant difference is that the SOW explicitly ties the successful delivery of these services to

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