Ever struggled with writing scopes of work or had that gnawing fear that you could lose your shirt (and job!) due to a poorly defined sales presentation? Ever wish you never sold the job in the first place? You aren’t alone. I’ve had my share of stomach turners. So, how do we learn to write great scopes of work and make stellar sales presentations? The answer isn’t surprising. It takes real effort, learning from mistakes and applying what we learn the next time.

Here are Three Tips to Get Your Team on Track:

  1. Dig in. Read, study and understand the job and work you are to perform and identify the specific items of work excluded from your scope.
  2. Confront and own the true costs. They’re not going away!
  3. Create a picture of the job that shows you “get it”. Draw it, connect the dots and be sure it makes sense.

The bottom line: learn to think the job in 3D and living color. The easiest way to miss a scope that should be included or lack the foresight to identify areas of a scope that are not your responsibility, is a failure to truly understand the job.

One recommendation is to think from the furthest device “in”. Think about the devices and their needs, then follow the path from each device to its “other” end point. You may literally walk a job site. Pull out and examine device plans, riser diagrams, hardware schedules, ceiling, electrical, HVAC, details and job specifications. You’ll dig deeper to review coordinated plans and specifications from various consultants: architects, MEPs and others. Ask: how will we get materials to the job? What time are deliveries allowed? Are bonds required? Additional insurance?

You’ll remember good and bad experiences and make notes to clarify, exclude, include. You’ll coordinate phases of work to the project schedule and the better you become, you will create your own project schedule, with phases, milestones, details and dependencies. You’ll note the project resources needed, when, how many, for how long. You will note working times, non-working times, crunch times and even figure out how to reasonably consider aspects of the project that are not fully defined. You will work through “BOM” quantities, materials, labor hours, other non-material items and related costs. You must identify and calculate your true costs. Getting to a “number” is not the hard part – that’s a business decision to be made.

Doing this well gives you the “win” and gets you invited back again and again. This level of work results in the best written technical responses, scopes of work and presentation documents. At the end of the day, the effort put into understanding the scope of a project and the presentation of what your team will do to successfully perform the work, illustrates why you, above all others, are right for the job.

This level of work is your calling card to success. Documenting and detailing project work from the beginning earns you the invitations to the parties you want to attend. From there, all you have to do is deliver great jobs. Rock it out with stellar sales presentations and you will rock on with awesome customer experiences!