Why Six Sigma Professionals Should Earn a PMP Certification

Posted on November 17, 2015

Today’s professionals are under constant pressure to increase revenue, decrease costs and improve efficiency. To meet these demanding business goals, these professionals are obtaining certifications to help them deliver outstanding results and build their credentials in an increasingly competitive world.

A Six Sigma certification helps teams of professionals improve processes and therefore improve quality. This certification provides training in fact-based statistical analysis, objective problem identification and creative problem solution.

A Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification helps project managers organize people and tasks to complete projects in a timely and efficient manner.

Certification Differences

While Six Sigma and Project Management training provide tools and skills that help improve process performance, these methodologies take different approaches to accomplish a shared objective.

Professionals with a Six Sigma certification are trained to identify a problem using statistical analysis, and then to implement a solution to improve the process that will meet the customer’s needs. Unlike PMP projects, Six Sigma projects are practiced continuously throughout the life of the process, and have no rigid end date. 

PMP processes generally work well when a team already understands the changes that they need to make to improve the process. PMP professionals take the predetermined set of changes the process needs and apply their skills, tools and specialized knowledge to implement the changes and help the process run as efficiently as possible.

What Six Sigma and PMP Have in Common

Continuously improving a process or efficiently implementing changes to the process are complicated endeavors. These improvements require a methodology that is segmented into phases that allow teams to make orderly progress. Both Six Sigma and Project Management have a five-phase process to administer change.

Project Management is executed in five phases that guide the project from beginning to completion.

  1. Initiate – Determine whether the project benefits the organization
  2. Plan – Finalize the budget, schedule and resources needed
  3. Launch – Allocate resources and assign responsibilities
  4. Monitor and Control – Manage and adjust schedules to keep the project progressing
  5. Close – Obtain the client’s approval and evaluate performance

Six Sigma also has a five-stage process to keep it on track.

  1. Define – This phase sets the project scope, creates a business case and identifies what is most critical to the client
  2. Measure – Collect data to determine the problem’s magnitude
  3. Analyze – Identify possible causes of the problems
  4. Improve – Find a solution that addresses the root cause of the problem
  5. Control – Document the solution, implement the improvement and monitor results

How Six Sigma Professionals Benefit from a PMP Certification

Six Sigma practitioners are typically experienced problem solvers. Their body of knowledge helps them identify the root causes of problems and implement proven solutions. However, the effectiveness of a Six Sigma project team’s solution is often determined by how well it is implemented.

A PMP certification adds an extra set of skills to a Six Sigma professional’s portfolio. Once Six Sigma has identified a solution to the problem, the PMP training provides the knowledge and skills to help ensure that the solution is implemented efficiently and effectively.