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Slack is the Project Management System of the Year 2019

by Matthias Gelbmann, 3 January 2020
Tags: Asana, Slack, Zoho

Slack is the project management system that gained more popularity in our ranking within the last year than any of the other 308 monitored systems.
We thus declare Slack as the Project Management System of the Year 2019.

For determining the project management system of the year, we subtracted the popularity scores of January 2019 from the latest scores of January 2020. We use the difference of these numbers, rather than a percentage, because that would favor systems with a tiny popularity at the beginning of the year. The result is a list of project management systems sorted by how much they managed to increase their popularity in 2019, or in other words, how many additional people started to communicate about it in one of the ways we measure in our methodology, for example job offers, professional profile entries and citations on the web.

Project Management System of the Year: Slack

Slack has become the go-to solution for team communication for many companies of any size. Slack claims it replaces email, to which some critics say email overload has been replaced by Slack message overload. However, as much as people may be annoyed, there is a need for communication within any organization, and Slack is often recognized as the most appropriate (or in other words, the least annoying) solution.

What Slack does seems to be quite easy on the surface. There is no shortage of systems that try to be the Slack successor or even the Slack killer, but none of them has come close to Slack in terms of popularity. There is of course the first-mover advantage, but that alone doesn't explain Slack's success. Slack has hit the sweet spot between ease of use and feature completeness. Most important probably are the uncountable apps and Slack integrations, which enables organizations to rely on Slack as the central communication tool that interacts with all the other tools they need to use.

Runner-up: Asana

Asana was already third in our Project Management System of the Year award in the last two years and moved up to come in second in 2019. Where Slack focuses on team communication, Asana provides a wider range of project management features such as task and time tracking, resource management and project portfolio management. At the same time, easy of use remains a key property of Asana. It still fells light-weight compared to more traditional full-fledged project management systems, but covers enough ground to serve the needs of many organizations.

Third place: Zoho

Zoho is a complete hosted office suite. We have added it among the project management systems as it includes several modules that provide project management features such as task and milestone tracking, cost tracking and risk management. Companies that already use some of the umpteen other Zoho modules like CRM, email or finance apps will often find that using Zoho for project management as well is a frictionless approach compared to introducing a separate tool in the organization. On the other hand, using the vast ecosystem of Zoho for project management alone would almost feel like using a MacBook only for checking the weather.


We congratulate Slack, Asana and Zoho on their success in 2019.


Previous winners of the Project Management System of the Year Award

2019  Slack
2018 Trello
2017 Trello
2016 Trello

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