Methodology vs. framework; these are the two most frequently used and equally misinterpreted project management jargon.
What are project management frameworks and methodologies?
And what’s the difference between the two in project management?
To answer this, we need to understand the definitions of each term.
Let us look at the two project management terms and try to understand their differences.
What is Methodology?
Nowadays, most professionals often used the terms method and methodology to imply the same thing. Unfortunately, these two terms are very different.
A method is a particular approach or solution to do something. Methods achieve their goals using systematic rules.
On the other hand, methodology refers to a set of tools, processes, or practices used to accomplish something. The term “ology” means ‘the scientific study of something.’
This makes methodology the study of methods. In programming, methodology denotes the analysis and implementation of programs. Methodologies are strict and specific, with a series of activities and steps for each stage of the project’s life cycle.
Methodologies have defined approaches on the steps to be taken, why the steps are essential, and how they should accomplish each stage.
What is Framework?
Frameworks have a structured approach to solving problems. Frameworks help project managers focus their attention on particular aspects of a problem.
The framework has an overview of how project managers and their teams should implement project guidelines. This makes them more flexible to change because they can easily adapt to changing situations, including a company’s custom needs or market demands.
Frameworks give the person in charge of the project enough room to find the best way to complete the project. This includes bringing in new and existing practices and methods to the framework they are working with
Frameworks are commonly used to customize, modify or extend a particular project. This is achieved by re-using components, meaning that project managers do not have to start each time afresh.
Difference between Methodology and Framework
1. Definition- Methodologies define the way to systematically solve or complete a project, while a framework is just a skeletal structure on which projects are built.
2. Mode of Operation- Methodology systematically solves a problem by combining two things together; the preferred methods and the logic behind your chosen methods. On the other hand, a framework is a structured approach to problem-solving. Frameworks are used to implement a model or part of a model.
3. Flexibility- Methodologies have a limitation when it comes to creativity and flexibility. This is because methodologies are based on an entire set of pre-defined rules. On the contrary, frameworks offer enough room for creativity and flexibility, as long as the main goal is achieved. This allows developers and project managers to select methods that best fit their needs.
Between framework and methodology, which one is better?
The answer to this depends on the application. If you are managing small-scale projects, working in a small-scale organization, or working in the creative industry, a framework is best suited for your needs.
This is because a framework offers room for flexibility and creativity. On the other hand, if you’re working for big institutions and managing big projects, adopting a methodology that will offer guidelines on how projects should be completed is recommended.
This is because you will be dealing with many employees, and employees will inevitably make different choices that may lead to poor monitoring procedures and a lack of consistency.
When to use project management frameworks and methodologies
In the end, it does not really matter whether something is a framework or a methodology.
What matters is whether it is applicable for your projects and how best suited it is to fulfill your project needs.
If you take a particular method and come up with a system that works well around it, you have created your own methodology.
In summary, methodology refers to solving problems systematically, whereas framework refers to a skeletal structure around which solutions are built.
A methodology strongly emphasizes the desired outcome of a project/field of study, while a framework offers a structured approach to completing projects and attaining goals.
Even though frameworks are loose, their inconsistencies provide enough room for developers to include other tools and processes in the project, whereas methodologies have their limitations in terms of flexibility.