Lean vs. PMP

What's the Difference?

Lean and PMP are both project management methodologies that aim to improve efficiency and effectiveness in project delivery. Lean focuses on eliminating waste and streamlining processes to deliver value to customers quickly and efficiently. PMP, on the other hand, is a more structured approach that focuses on planning, executing, and monitoring projects to ensure they are completed on time and within budget. While Lean is more focused on continuous improvement and customer satisfaction, PMP provides a framework for managing projects of all sizes and complexities. Ultimately, the choice between Lean and PMP will depend on the specific needs and goals of the project at hand.


Photo by meriç tuna on Unsplash
MethodologyFocuses on eliminating waste and improving efficiencyProject management framework for planning, executing, and closing projects
OriginDerived from Toyota Production SystemDeveloped by Project Management Institute
ToolsKanban, Value Stream Mapping, 5SGantt charts, Critical Path Method, Work Breakdown Structure
FocusProcess improvement and waste reductionProject planning, execution, and monitoring
CertificationLean Six SigmaProject Management Professional (PMP)
Photo by Silvia Fang on Unsplash

Further Detail


Lean and Project Management Professional (PMP) are two popular methodologies used in the business world to improve processes and achieve project success. While both approaches aim to increase efficiency and effectiveness, they have distinct differences in their principles, practices, and applications. In this article, we will compare the attributes of Lean and PMP to help you understand their unique strengths and weaknesses.

Lean Methodology

Lean methodology, also known as Lean manufacturing or Lean production, is a systematic approach to eliminating waste and improving processes to deliver more value to customers. The core principle of Lean is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste. Lean focuses on continuous improvement, respect for people, and the elimination of non-value-added activities.

  • Lean methodology originated from the Toyota Production System in Japan.
  • Lean tools and techniques include value stream mapping, 5S, Kanban, and Kaizen.
  • Lean is often used in manufacturing, healthcare, and service industries.
  • Lean projects are typically smaller in scope and focus on incremental improvements.
  • Lean emphasizes the importance of engaging employees at all levels in process improvement.

PMP Methodology

Project Management Professional (PMP) is a globally recognized certification for project managers that is based on the Project Management Institute's (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). PMP methodology focuses on the five process groups of project management: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. PMP emphasizes the importance of delivering projects on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of stakeholders.

  • PMP methodology is based on best practices in project management.
  • PMP certification requires passing an exam and demonstrating project management experience.
  • PMP is applicable to a wide range of industries and project types.
  • PMP projects are typically larger in scope and complexity.
  • PMP emphasizes the use of project management tools and techniques to plan and execute projects.

Comparison of Attributes

While Lean and PMP have different origins and methodologies, they share some common attributes and goals. Both Lean and PMP aim to improve processes, increase efficiency, and deliver value to customers. However, there are key differences in their approaches and applications.

  • Lean focuses on eliminating waste and continuous improvement, while PMP focuses on project management best practices.
  • Lean projects are typically smaller in scope and focus on incremental improvements, while PMP projects are larger and more complex.
  • Lean emphasizes employee engagement and empowerment, while PMP emphasizes project management tools and techniques.
  • Lean is often used in manufacturing and service industries, while PMP is applicable to a wide range of industries.
  • Both Lean and PMP can be used together to achieve project success by combining process improvement with project management best practices.


In conclusion, Lean and PMP are two valuable methodologies that can help organizations improve processes and achieve project success. While Lean focuses on eliminating waste and continuous improvement, PMP emphasizes project management best practices. By understanding the unique attributes of Lean and PMP, organizations can choose the right approach or combine both methodologies to achieve their goals and deliver value to customers.

Comparisons may contain inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. Please report any issues.