**General Rule - Communication channel calculation ***

Randy is managing a project and identifies that there are 8 stakeholders in the project. He is worried that he might end up with an unmanageable number of communication channels. In your view, how many communication channels does Randy have to plan for?


Per my understanding , always include PM in the calculation , so here it would be 8+1 = 9 member

= (9*8)/2 = 36

Any scenerio when we will only consider those numbers that is explicitely mentioned in the question ? , ex : here : 8 members hence ,

= (8*7)/2 = 28

Please advise ...







Sam in your sample question, it is obvious that the PM is included in the calculation.Why?

Look, if the question goes like this: "How many communication channels among the stakeholers does randy have to plan for?"  Then this connotes that the calculation will be limited to the 8 stakeholders as specified clearly in the question. But the sample question does not say so, meaning Randy is incuded in the comm chanel.

I have responded to this kind of question many times and i have only one point i always emphasize - calculation of comm channel has to be specifically understood from the question.

Same page...but correct answer is..=(8*7) /2 = 28...It means Randy is not included in the calculation....

Why , under this scenerio , PM should be in ?



that shows that the answer to the question as given in that sample pmp exam is wrong.


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Compared to other math questions, number of communication channels question is the easiest on PMP exam. Only thing we need to be aware of is that question may become tricky.

Three different possible ways these questions may be asked.

(1) Direct question asking number of channels.

(2) You need to check if manager is included in the number count

(3) If question is asking additional number of channels and not total. 

Once you get a grasp on these points, you are sure to answer them right.

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36 is right answer, if you really read the question. It doesnt say that communication between stakeholders, in that case we have to plan for 8+1 people


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As per my understanding….Lets just apply basic English reading technique first “Randy is managing a project and identifies that there are 8 stakeholders”. Although I am not that great English expert, but it looks like PM is not included in these 8 stakeholders list, assuming PM is also a stakeholder (he should be) when you plan communication channels for a project. I would go with your first understanding i.e.

8+1 = 9 member
= (9*8)/2 = 36

Please refer to Page 357 ( Last para - Tricks of the trade) , even here also PM is not included in the calculation.....


I think..its ok....i know the concept...so its fine....

Dear Friends

I have also come across of such questions.

Earlier in reply of almost similar type of question as asked by someone, I have put my doubt as the same as in this post/topic, questioned by Mr SAM_JAIN.

Till these discussion no one pointed out that thing, WHAT I obseved:

Whenever be such question will be there, No one option (out of all 4)  includes, self or PM in its totalling.

I mean to to say you will not find your answer, if you include self or PM , in all 4 options.

The options will be different, and one of them option will be as per the total of excluding self or PM.

In such senario, the right answer we must opt as which has excluding self or PM.

If in any one option, out of 4 options, you will find that you (self or PM ) included, then there is vital chances that there will be no option which has possible answer excluding you or self or PM. Then choose answer including you.

If in Exam you find situation that both options are available , excluding you(self or PM) as well as including you or self or PM, then choose the answer including you or self or PM(higher one).

As per conceptwise how we can leave self one when I/you/she/he is a part of that channel group.



It says there are 8 stakeholders.  PM is one of the stakeholders so he/she is already counted in 8.

 This is how I interpretted the question

"There are 8 stakeholders in the project" 

This means the project has 8 stakeholders in total which means that Randy is already included in the project as a stake holder.

So it is 8*(7)/2=28.

However if the statement read as below

Randy is managing a project and identifies 8 stakeholders .

Then the statement clearly implies that Randy is not one among the 8 stakeholders hence the answer would be 9*(8)/2=36

 it is 28 channels of communication-- my interpretation, PM is already included in these 8 people. Reading the question carefully is a key.

 Dear raaj,


 Why cant  randy  identify herself as one of the stakeholders? 

If the sentence was" Randy is managing 8 stakeholders" then it would be 8+1 =9


What I feel is " There are 8 stakeholders in the project" means 8 including the PM