PMP vs Six Sigma: Major Differences and Similarties Explained

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Jun 11, 2024

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PMP (Project Management Professional) and Six Sigma are highly respected in the field of management qualifications. The PMP certification, offered by PMI, is widely recognised as the industry standard for project managers, whereas Six Sigma focuses on giving people the right tools and methods to enhance organisational processes. Is it advantageous to seek Six Sigma training if you already have a PMP certification? On the other hand, if you haven't already earned your PMP certification, which one should you prioritise: Six Sigma or PMP?

Professionals looking to progress their careers are still baffled by the constant discussion and analysis of the benefits of Six Sigma and Project Management Professional (PMP) certifications. It is difficult to decide between PMP and Six Sigma because both credentials are highly valued in the field of effective project management across sectors. 

Earning a PMP Certification

A widely regarded credential in the field of project management is the PMP certification, which is provided by PMI. It welcomes professionals from diverse backgrounds and levels of skill, making it appropriate for people who are new to project management. A test measuring one's understanding of the PMBOK and the Project Management Process Groups must be passed in order to get the PMP certification. Through PMP tutorials or project management courses that follow the current PMP test syllabus, candidates may successfully prepare for the exam. People receive the distinguished title of certified project manager or project management professional after passing the PMP exam.

The PMP certification is highly regarded and well-known in the project management industry, making it an important credential for individuals looking to further their careers. It is designed to accommodate people from many industries, recognising the widespread applicability of project management abilities in a variety of businesses. With a major focus on Project Management Process Groups and the PMBOK, which offers a complete framework of industry best practices, the PMP exam evaluates candidates' understanding and skill in project management concepts and practises.

People frequently engage in PMP tutorials or project management courses that provide in-depth coverage of the test syllabus as part of their preparation for the PMP exam. It is essential to pick a training course that adheres to the most recent standards and PMI curriculum. Candidates who pass the PMP test do so by showcasing their knowledge of project management approaches, strategies, and procedures. This increases their credibility and shows that they are committed to keeping the standards set by the industry.

Six Sigma Certification 

Let's now give you a brief description of the Six Sigma certification so that you may choose between it and the PMP with greater knowledge. Statistical analysis and quality control are the two main tenets of the Six Sigma quality approach, which has its roots in industrial engineering. It was first presented by Motorola in 1986, but it really took off when General Electric, led by Jack Welch, embraced it. Through process redesign and measurement, Six Sigma's main goal is to reduce defects and increase customer satisfaction. The DMAIC cycle, whose initials stand for Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, and Control, serves as the foundation of the technique. Let's delve deeper into each phase:

  1. Define: This phase entails precisely describing the issue or improvement opportunity, setting project objectives, and figuring out client needs. It establishes the project's framework for Six Sigma.
  2. Measure:  In this stage, data collection and measurement take place to understand the current process performance. It involves identifying key metrics and establishing a baseline for comparison.
  3. Analyze: Finding the main reasons for errors or process deviations is the goal of the analysis step. To analyse data and find areas for improvement, statistical tools and procedures are applied.
  4. Improve: The improvement stage concentrates on putting solutions into action and improving processes in light of the results from the preceding stages. To obtain intended results, it includes testing, piloting, and verifying modifications.
  5. Control: The goal of the last step is to maintain the gains made via the use of control mechanisms. Guarantee long-term success, it entails setting up monitoring systems, specifying process controls, and producing documentation.

The DMAIC cycle provides a structured approach to problem-solving and ongoing development, enabling businesses to enhance productivity, quality, and efficiency. A Six Sigma certification shows a person's proficiency in using this technique and their capacity to support an organization's performance by utilising data-driven decision-making and process optimisation.

The Six Sigma certification is widely acknowledged as being an essential prerequisite for anyone seeking employment prospects in any industry or organisation. Major corporations have fully adopted the Six Sigma technique, including Motorola, General Electric, Sony, FedEx, and NASA. The "cause and effect diagram," often called the "fishbone diagram," is a crucial tool used by Six Sigma practitioners and was invented by Kaoru Ishikawa. For those looking to improve their credentials in this profession, there are various possibilities accessible within the project-level Six Sigma certifications.

  • White Belt 
  • Yellow Belt 
  • Green Belt 
  • Black Belt 

PMP Vs Six Sigma: Differences Between PMP® and Six Sigma Certification

PMP CertificationSix Sigma Certification
Focuses on project management skills and conceptsFocuses on improving business processes
Aims to improve project success and manage project functionsAims to reduce defects and waste in production and services
Covers five process groups and ten knowledge areasUtilizes data collection, statistical analysis, and tools
Emphasizes project planning, execution, and controlEmphasizes process efficiency and quality improvement
Utilizes the PMBOK® Guide for a project management frameworkUses DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) cycle
Integrates risk management and stakeholder engagementApplies statistical methods and tools for analysis
Single PMP certification with different experience levelsGreen Belt, Black Belt, and Master Black Belt certifications
Applicable to various industries and sectorsCommonly used in manufacturing and service industries


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People must complete 35 hours of formal project management training in order to sit for the PMP test. They are allowed to select any PMP training organisation as long as the curriculum complies with PMI requirements. The same is true for Six Sigma certification, where candidates can choose their desired certification body and use outside study resources. Their PMP certification courses include hands-on workshops and professional advice on how to apply for the test, assuring a thorough and effective learning process.

PMP Vs Six Sigma: How to Earn the PMP® and Six Sigma Certification

Making a choice between the PMP and Six Sigma becomes easier with a better grasp of both certifications. Due to its industry-neutral character, the PMP certification is advised as a good place to start. It is advised to start the certification process right away if you already fulfil some of the certification requirements. There are two situations in which you can be qualified to take the PMP exam, based on your educational background and the organisation that administers it (PMI).

The prerequisites for the PMP certification need a minimum of three years (or 36 months) of unique, non-overlapping experience in professional project management if you have a bachelor's degree or its international equivalent. In addition, you must finish 35 contact hours of rigorous project management training. The requirements rise to a minimum of five years (or 60 months) of distinct, non-overlapping experience in professional project management as well as the same 35 contact hours of formal project management education if you possess a high school diploma, associate degree, or its global equivalent.

It's significant to remember that there is no solitary certifying organisation for the Lean Six Sigma certification. There are many certification levels, and each has its own educational prerequisites. Before taking the test, it is often advised that candidates for Lean Six Sigma certification complete training with a certified Lean Six Sigma trainer, institution, or programme. the following certification levels:

  1. White Belt: This certification serves as an entry-level qualification, giving a fundamental comprehension of Six Sigma concepts.
  2. Yellow Belt: The focus is on Lean Six Sigma philosophy, fundamental methods, and tools.
  3. Green Belt: Achieving this certification demonstrates proficiency in Six Sigma and involvement in a Six Sigma effort.
  4. Black Belt: Individuals with a Black Belt certification are qualified to supervise White, Green, and Yellow Belts as well as instruct others in Six Sigma.

PMP Certification or Six Sigma Certification: Which Is Right for Your Organization? 

It is crucial to thoroughly weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each certification before deciding whether to seek the Lean Six Sigma or PMP certification. In order to make an informed choice that fits with your professional route, it is essential to consider your career objectives and desires. It is important to note that neither certification is better than the other; rather, they only emphasise various specialities.

Both qualifications, as was already said, are really valuable and may greatly improve your CV. You will become a sought-after candidate by prestigious organisations globally if you get either qualification, which might boost your earning potential. It is advised to have conversations with credible course providers or training institutions to have a better knowledge of the certification procedure and the differences between Lean Six Sigma and PMP.

How to Choose Between PMP Certification and Six Sigma Certification

Your existing work title, professional objectives, and career goals will all play a role in your decision over which certification to pursue— lean six sigma vs pmp. The PMP certification is strongly advised for people who want to further their careers in project management or who have aspirations of becoming project managers. With the help of this qualification, professionals will have the abilities and information needed to succeed in project management positions. On the other hand, acquiring a Lean Six Sigma certification is crucial if your area of interest is quality control and assurance, or if you want to start or develop in this profession. This certification offers a thorough grasp of process optimisation and quality improvement strategies.

How Do They Work Together?

Holding both the Lean Six Sigma vs PMP certifications offers the following advantages:

  1. Enhanced Career Flexibility: Regardless of prior project management expertise, professionals with either qualification have the potential to work in quality control or process improvement roles. Depending on their job objectives and desires, people can transfer between different sectors thanks to their flexibility.
  2. Expanded Networking Opportunities: A Lean Six Sigma certification from a company like ASQ or ISSSP can open up more networking prospects while earning the PMP certification entitles holders to membership in PMI. By giving members access to a large network of professionals and specialists in the domains of project management, quality assurance, and Six Sigma, these memberships facilitate the growth of significant contacts and priceless professional relationships.
  3. Increased Hiring Potential: People who hold both the PMP and the Lean Six Sigma certifications are in great demand for jobs that need both project management and quality control knowledge. This dual certification demonstrates a broad variety of skills, upping the difficulty of job applications and broadening the pool of possible employers.

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Lean six sigma vs PMP – What should you choose?

You are better prepared to choose which certification is best for you now that you have a greater awareness of the prerequisites, potential career paths, and specifics of the Six Sigma and PMP certifications. Given that each certification has certain benefits and restrictions, it is crucial to take your own objectives into account.

The professional path you foresee for yourself ultimately determines which of the two qualifications you should pursue. You can make an informed choice that supports your professional objectives if you have a clear idea of the career path you want to take. I hope this post has given you useful information to help you decide which course of action will best enhance your career.


It's crucial to take your professional objectives and desires into account while contrasting PMP with Six Sigma. The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers the PMP certification, which is appropriate for anyone interested in project management and covers fundamental skills and ideas. Six Sigma, on the other hand, focuses on process enhancement and quality assurance. The PMP certification might be a wise decision if you want to improve your project management abilities and advance your professional chances. To guarantee you obtain thorough training in line with PMI standards, think about enrolling in PMP certification training classes from respected suppliers like StarAgile. You can acquire the skills required to succeed in project management professions by selecting the appropriate certification route.

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