Number of Communication Channels in a project

communication channels

Number of Communication Channels

          Project communications play a key role in the success of a project. There are a number of people involved in a project, and this opens up a several communication channels among them. 90% of the time spent by project managers are on communications. It is one of the biggest challenges faced by the project manager more than the technical complexity or design or the budget management. So let’s figure out how it is being calculated. And remember that there is a high chance of getting at least one question out of the 200 in the PMP exam on this topic.

For example, if there are 2 people(A, B) in the project. The number of communication channels between  A and B is 1.

Similarly, in a project with 3 people (A, B, C). The number of communication channels is –

Between A & B is 1

Between A & C is 1

and finally Between B & C is 1

Total = 3

However, if there are ‘n’ number of people in the project (including the project manager) what is the total number of communication channels among them? We don’t need to count each pair. Instead, we can use the formula below


Sample Questions –

  • John is a project manager for an IT project ABC. He has 2 architects, 6 developers and 4 testers in his team. How many communication channels are present in this ABC project?
    • 66 channels
    • 64 channels
    • 78 channels
    • 80 channels
    • 74 channels

Correct Answer – Note that you need to include the project manager too into the calculation. We have 13 people in total. So the number of communication channels in ABC project is 13(13-1)/2 = 78 channels

  • Peter works as a project manager for a large telecom project. He interacts daily with 5 stakeholders. After a week 2 more stake holders joined the project. How many new channels have been added?
    • 13 channels
    • 15 channels
    • 28 channels
    • 17 channels
    • 30 channels

Correct Answer – Here the question is to find out the additional number of channels added to the telecom project. Initially, we have Peter plus 5 stakeholders. So the number of communication channels is 6(6-1)/2 = 15. Later 2 new stakeholders got added. Now the number of communication channels is 8(8-1)/2 = 28 channels. So the number of additional channels is 28-15 = 13 channels

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