PMP vs. Six Sigma Certification

Instructor: Elizabeth Wamicha

Elizabeth teaches undergraduate courses in Business and Information Technology for the last 7 years. She is currently on course to completing a Doctorate in Information Systems

In this lesson, we will examine the certifications available for the two methodologies used in project management: PMP (Project Management Professional) and Six Sigma.

Project Management Certifications

Project management certifications are professional qualifications that are recognized around the world. These certifications have been proven to improve the success rates of projects run at government or even corporate levels. These certifications also promote a standardized and guided way of managing projects. This lesson analyzes two such project management certifications, PMP and Six Sigma.


The PMP certification stands for Project Management Professional Certification. This is a globally recognized certification for people who wish to become professional project managers. The certification is based on the project management Book of Knowledge or PMBOK, which is a set of standards that describe and define project management terminologies. The Book of Knowledge is a guidebook that has been compiled by the Project Management Institute or PMI. The content of the exam that you have to take in order to get the PMP certification is made up of 5 distinct parts. These are:

  • How to initiate a project
  • How to plan for the project
  • How to execute the project
  • How to monitor and control the project
  • How to close the project

In order to be awarded the PMP certification, you have to complete and pass the PMP exam. The exam comprises of 200 multiple choice questions. However, 25 of the questions that are covered in the PMP exam are not graded and used to assess the strengths of the exam taker. The 25 questions are placed randomly throughout the exam. This ideally means that you are graded on only 175 of the 200 exam questions.

The PMP certification comes with a requirement for continuous credentials or CCR. This means that the certification holder needs to carry out other extra activities related to project management in order to maintain the certification. These activities include writing articles, research, public speaking and others.

Six Sigma

The Six Sigma certification is a means to ensure that you meet requirements for certain competencies related to project management. Similar to the PMP certification, the Six Sigma certification involves going through related material, passing a proficiency test and being able to demonstrate the required competencies in a practical environment. The test for the Six Sigma certification can be given by a training company. After completing the test, you are required to complete at least 1 quality related project using the concepts learned during the training.

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