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Scoping it out: Cost estimates excel with data-driven scopes of work

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Scoping it out: Cost estimates excel with data-driven scopes of work

Accurately evaluating and writing the Scope of Work demands data essential to successful building projects—capturing, analyzing and estimating real costs.

Provided By: Gordian
By C.C. Sullivan, Contributing Editor January 13, 2022
Scoping it out: Cost estimates excel with data-driven scopes of work AIA course

What’s the most critical step in creating a new building? Savvy architects, owners and developers find this question easy to answer: It’s the scope, of course. With every project start and every new building team, the first and often most daunting hurdle is establishing a decent budget estimate. In preconstruction meetings, when questions arise about budget — especially errors, omissions, misinterpretations and just plain “forgot it” — fingers point back to the original scope of work, or SoW.

Behind the most effective SoWs are multitudes of useful specifics and real data, according to Jory MacKay of project management app maker Planio. “The SoW is a powerful tool to keep everyone accountable and on task,” he explains. “It might seem like a lot of work to do up front, but the more you can make clear, the easier the rest of the project will flow.”

Gordian Cost estimates excel with data-driven scopes of work


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Learning Objective

After reading this article, you should be able to:

  • Define what a scope of work (SoW) is and why it is essential to successful building project delivery
  • Explain core challenges of creating a clear, accurate and full scope of work for a construction project
  • List types and sources of information and cost data that can be used to create a successful scope of work
  • Describe the characteristics of an effective scope of work and potential outcomes related to its use

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