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Methodology vs. Framework: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on January 4, 2024
Methodology is a set of methods and principles used to accomplish a task, while framework is a structured plan or set of guidelines used to develop solutions.

Key Differences

Methodology refers to a systematic way of solving a problem or approaching a task, often involving specific techniques, steps, or principles. It's the 'how' of executing tasks and solving problems. Framework, on the other hand, is more about providing an overarching structure or skeleton. It outlines the broader principles, rules, and guidelines within which methodologies operate. A framework often sets the boundaries and context for applying different methodologies.
In practice, a methodology is often more specific and detailed than a framework. It is akin to a recipe in cooking, providing step-by-step instructions and specific methods to achieve a particular outcome. A framework, conversely, is like the kitchen in which you cook. It provides the space and the basic guidelines - like hygiene and safety norms - but doesn't dictate the exact steps of cooking a particular dish.
When discussing research, methodology encompasses the techniques and processes used to collect and analyze data. It defines the tools and procedures that will be used. A framework, in this context, establishes the theoretical underpinning of the research, offering a lens through which the data is viewed and interpreted. It provides a foundational structure but not the detailed process of research.
In the context of software development, methodology could refer to specific approaches like Agile or Scrum, detailing how software is developed, tested, and deployed. Framework in this field might refer to a set of libraries, tools, and conventions, like .NET or Ruby on Rails, that structure the development process but don't provide step-by-step development methods.
Thus, while both methodology and framework are essential for systematic and organized work, they serve different purposes. Methodology is about the procedural aspect, the detailed 'how-to', whereas the framework sets the overall approach and structure within which various methodologies can be applied.

Comparison Chart


A set of procedures and techniques for accomplishing tasks
An overarching structure or set of guidelines


More specific, with detailed steps
More general, providing broad guidelines


Used to execute tasks or solve problems
Used to organize and structure approaches


Often rigid and step-oriented
Typically more flexible and adaptable


Agile methodology in software development
MVC (Model-View-Controller) framework in software design

Methodology and Framework Definitions


A system of methods used in a particular area.
The scientific methodology involves hypothesis, experimentation, and conclusion.


A basic structure underlying a system or concept.
The educational framework in the country emphasizes experiential learning.


A detailed set of procedures in research.
Her methodology in the study included extensive surveys and interviews.


A set of rules or ideas that are used to plan something.
The new policy was developed within the framework of sustainable development.


A specific way of performing tasks in a discipline.
The methodology for archaeological digs involves careful excavation and documentation.


An essential supporting structure of a community or system.
The legal framework ensures justice and fairness in society.


Techniques or strategies in teaching.
The Montessori methodology focuses on child-led learning.


A conceptual structure intended to serve as a guide.
The framework for the workshop included topics on leadership and teamwork.


A structured approach to solve business problems.
The company adopted Lean methodology to improve efficiency.


A skeletal structure designed to support or enclose something.
The building's framework is designed for high seismic resilience.


A body of practices, procedures, and rules used by those who work in a discipline or engage in an inquiry; a set of working methods
The methodology of genetic studies.
A poll marred by faulty methodology.


A structure for supporting or enclosing something else, especially a skeletal support used as the basis for something being constructed.


The study or theoretical analysis of such working methods.


An external work platform; a scaffold.


The branch of logic that deals with the general principles of the formation of knowledge.


The study of methods used in a field.
Research methodology


(loosely) A collection of methods, practices, procedures and rules used by those who work in some field.
Agile methodology


The implementation of such methods etc.


The science of method or arrangement; a treatise on method.


The branch of philosophy that analyzes the principles and procedures of inquiry in a particular discipline


The system of methods followed in a particular discipline


What does a framework provide?

A structured plan or set of guidelines for developing solutions.

Can methodology exist without a framework?

Yes, but it's more effective within a framework.

Is a framework always rigid?

No, frameworks can be adaptable and flexible.

How is methodology different in research vs. business?

In research, it's about data collection and analysis, while in business, it's about problem-solving strategies.

What is a methodology?

A systematic set of methods and principles used in a particular discipline.

How does a methodology impact results?

It determines the approach and thus significantly impacts the outcomes.

Can one framework fit all methodologies?

No, frameworks are often specific to the context or discipline.

Can you interchange methodologies within a framework?

Yes, if they align with the framework's guidelines.

How important is methodology in scientific research?

It's crucial as it ensures the validity and reliability of the research.

Does every project need a framework?

While not mandatory, a framework usually aids in effective project execution.

Is a framework necessary for educational curriculum?

It helps to provide a coherent structure and standards for education.

Can methodologies evolve?

Yes, they often evolve with new findings and technologies.

Is a framework static?

Not necessarily, it can evolve with changes in the field or objectives.

How often should methodologies be reviewed?

Regularly, to ensure they remain effective and relevant.

Is a framework more about theory or practice?

It's a blend of both, providing theoretical underpinning and practical structure.

What role does a framework play in software development?

It provides a structured environment for software creation and maintenance.

Can frameworks limit creativity?

If too rigid, they can, but well-designed frameworks can actually foster creativity.

Can you use multiple methodologies in one project?

Yes, especially in complex projects requiring varied approaches.

How do methodologies differ across disciplines?

They vary based on the specific needs and nature of each discipline.

How do you choose the right methodology?

It depends on the project goals, resources, and context.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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