Method vs. Technique

What's the Difference?

Method and technique are two terms often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings. A method refers to a systematic approach or a set of procedures used to achieve a specific goal or outcome. It provides a structured framework for carrying out a task or solving a problem. On the other hand, a technique refers to a specific skill or procedure used within a method to accomplish a particular step or aspect of the overall process. While a method provides the overall strategy, a technique focuses on the specific actions or tools employed to execute that strategy effectively. In summary, a method is the broader approach, while a technique is a specific tool or skill used within that approach.


DefinitionA systematic procedure or process used to accomplish a specific goal or objective.A specific approach or method used to perform a task or achieve a desired outcome.
ApplicationCan be applied to various fields such as science, research, engineering, etc.Can be applied to various fields such as art, sports, music, etc.
FlexibilityMethods can be adapted or modified based on specific requirements or circumstances.Techniques are often more rigid and may not be easily modified or altered.
Level of DetailMethods often provide a more comprehensive and detailed approach to accomplishing a task.Techniques may focus on specific steps or actions required to achieve a particular outcome.
UsageMethods are commonly used to guide and structure processes or procedures.Techniques are often employed to enhance or improve specific skills or abilities.
ExamplesScientific method, Agile method, Waterfall methodBrushing technique in painting, Breathing technique in meditation, Dribbling technique in basketball

Further Detail


When it comes to achieving goals or solving problems, having a systematic approach is crucial. Two commonly used terms in this context are "method" and "technique." While they may seem similar, there are distinct differences between the two. In this article, we will explore the attributes of method and technique, highlighting their unique characteristics and how they contribute to various fields and disciplines.

Defining Method

A method can be defined as a systematic and organized way of doing something. It involves a series of steps or procedures that are followed to achieve a specific outcome. Methods are often based on established principles or theories and are designed to be repeatable and reliable. They provide a structured framework for approaching a task or problem, ensuring consistency and efficiency in the process.

One key attribute of a method is its emphasis on the overall process rather than individual steps. It focuses on the logical flow and sequence of actions required to reach the desired result. Methods are often documented and can be shared and replicated by others, making them valuable in fields such as science, research, and project management.

Another important aspect of a method is its adaptability. While methods provide a structured approach, they can be tailored or modified to suit specific circumstances or requirements. This flexibility allows individuals or teams to apply the method to different situations while still maintaining its core principles and objectives.

Furthermore, methods are often associated with a particular discipline or domain. For example, scientific methods are used in research to gather empirical evidence and draw conclusions, while teaching methods are employed in education to facilitate effective learning. Each field may have its own set of methods that are considered best practices, developed through years of experience and experimentation.

Understanding Technique

A technique, on the other hand, refers to a specific skill or approach used to accomplish a task or perform an activity. It is more focused and specialized compared to a method. Techniques are often practical and hands-on, involving the application of specific knowledge or expertise.

Unlike methods, techniques are not necessarily bound by a strict sequence of steps. They can vary depending on the situation or the individual employing them. Techniques are often honed through practice and experience, allowing individuals to refine their skills and improve their efficiency over time.

One key attribute of a technique is its emphasis on mastery. Techniques require a deep understanding of the subject matter and the ability to apply that knowledge effectively. They often involve fine-tuning one's motor skills or cognitive abilities to achieve a desired outcome. Techniques are commonly found in fields such as sports, arts, and craftsmanship, where expertise and precision are highly valued.

Furthermore, techniques can be highly individualized. Different practitioners may have their own unique variations or styles within a particular technique. This personal touch allows for creativity and innovation, enabling individuals to bring their own flair and personality to their work.

It is worth noting that techniques can be part of a larger method. In many cases, methods incorporate various techniques to accomplish specific tasks within the overall process. Techniques can be seen as building blocks that contribute to the success of a method, providing the necessary skills and expertise required to execute each step effectively.

Comparing Method and Technique

While methods and techniques have distinct attributes, they are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they often complement each other and work hand in hand to achieve desired outcomes. Let's explore some key points of comparison between the two:

1. Scope and Focus

Methods have a broader scope and focus on the overall process or approach to a task or problem. They provide a systematic framework that guides individuals or teams from start to finish. Techniques, on the other hand, have a narrower scope and focus on specific skills or actions required to accomplish a task within the method. They are more specialized and targeted.

2. Flexibility and Adaptability

Methods offer a higher degree of flexibility and adaptability compared to techniques. They can be modified or customized to suit different situations or contexts while maintaining their core principles. Techniques, although adaptable to some extent, are often more rigid and require a certain level of mastery to be effective. They are less likely to be altered significantly without compromising their intended outcome.

3. Documentation and Replication

Methods are typically documented and can be shared or replicated by others. They provide a standardized approach that can be followed by individuals or teams to achieve consistent results. Techniques, on the other hand, may not always be explicitly documented or easily transferable. They often rely on personal experience and intuition, making them more challenging to replicate precisely.

4. General Applicability

Methods are generally applicable across different domains or disciplines. They provide a structured approach that can be adapted to various situations. Techniques, on the other hand, are often more specific to a particular field or activity. They require domain-specific knowledge and expertise, limiting their applicability outside of their respective areas.

5. Emphasis on Process vs. Outcome

Methods place a greater emphasis on the overall process and logical flow of actions required to achieve a desired outcome. They focus on the journey rather than the end result. Techniques, on the other hand, are more outcome-oriented. They prioritize the specific skills or actions needed to produce a particular result, often aiming for precision and mastery.


In summary, methods and techniques are both valuable tools in achieving goals and solving problems. While methods provide a structured and systematic approach to tasks or problems, techniques offer specialized skills and expertise to execute specific actions within the method. Understanding the attributes of both can help individuals and teams navigate various fields and disciplines more effectively, ensuring consistent and successful outcomes.

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