What is a framework?

The word "Framework" is applied to a lot of things without much thought. Let's define what a framework is and when you might need one.

A framework "frames work"

Perhaps an obvious statement to make, but one worth making! If you're building, say, a stone arch then using a wooden framework will help a lot with getting the work done and will also improve the quality of the finished arch.

A stone arch framework Image Credit: Stephens College Art History Glossary

Without a framework, the work of building an arch will be haphazard, require more people to do it and the end product is unlikely to be satisfactory. In some cases, it might be impossible to do the work at all without a framework.

Frameworks for knowledge work

In knowledge work such as software development, a framework has the same purpose: to frame the work being done so that it can be done more easily and produce a higher quality result.

In all cases, a framework must provide more value than it costs in building or using. If using a framework is more trouble than the benefits it brings to the work, it's not a useful framework.

We hope you find this framework useful!