PM Framework vs. PM Methodology

Walt Ruday

Walter is an established and highly experienced Project Management Expert with broad experience in establishing and standardizing global project management practices for multiple streams of projects. A PMP and ScrumMaster Certified Professional, Walter helps establish governance process to strategic and tactical IT and digital projects for all enterprises, and guiding all aspects of PMO initiatives and implementations.

The words “methodology” and “framework” are often used synonymously in project management environments. Let's clarify how and why they are different so that you can set a target for which approach and style make the most sense for your environment and organization. 

What is a PM framework?
By definition, a PM framework exists to provide a structure and direction on a preferred way to do something without it being too detailed or rigid. Frameworks provide guidelines. They provide guidance while being flexible enough to adapt to changing conditions or to being customized for your organization while utilizing vetted approaches. 

A framework:

  • Offers a flexible structure (but allows for creative adaptation)
  • Provides a structure of “what to do” but relies on the doer to determine the best way to get the “what” done
  • Can embed other frameworks (SDLC, DBLC, etc.)
  • Can be tailored to environment and culture

What is a PM methodology?
By definition, a PM methodology is an approach to “doing something” with a defined set of rules, methods, test activities, deliverables and processes that typically serve to solve a specific problem. A PM methodology demonstrates a well thought out, defined repeatable approach. 

A methodology:

  • Offers a prescriptive structure (phases, tasks, methods,…

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