The way people measure performance in organizations is often based on tasks, resource utilitzation, time and so on. But we would like to introduce a culture where people see measurement as a way to learn and improve, and also a healthy and trusted environment where people feel secure talking about how is going on. For these reason we started using a different kind of metrics, Metrics Ecosystem from Management 3.0.

6 month ago we decided to install a Niko-Niko calendar on the team’s board (Kanban board). The format of the calendar allows each team member to stick, at the end of every workday, a graphic evaluation of their mood during that day. In our case this is a colored sticker: red for a bad day, yellow for neutral, green for a good day and gold for an awesome day. Over time, the niko-niko calendar reveals patterns of change in the moods of the team, or of individual members.

Our beginning

We start our day with a daily stand-up meeting in front of our Kanban board, where we walk the board. At this point we talk about the tasks and also we do a quickly day planning. Based on this we make a first algorithm, in order to fill in our first verion of Niko-Niko calendar. If we accomplish finishing what we scheduled to do at the end of the day then is a green, if not then is a yellow and finally if we cannot finish what we scheduled and also we got a lot of interruptions then red :(


Afterwards we add more feelings, we agree to talk only about feelings related with work issues not personal, to avoid awkward moments.

Then we move our first version algorithm to a more personal and subjective one, for instance we could stick a yellow if we accomplish what we scheduled but we didn’t feel happy about what we did or if there is something we aren’t proud of.

Nowadays we add an extra colour: gold one, for awesome days which are better dan green good days. These are days witch we are really proud and we want to celebrate something, based on our team values this could be because we are proud about our Coherence, Colaboration, Proactivity or Adaptability way of work or simply because we are really happy about what we did.

And last but not least, we also change our sticker to a more “human” with faces on it, as you can see on thi picture above :P

How we use it

It started as an experiment but I think that nowadays we cannot work without it. However, when we started it we were very clear that this was a tool only for us not something that people out of the team could use on their side. If somebody ask about it, we would kindly explain what is it and why is usefull for us, but is build for peace and love not for war and death.

At sum up the calendar gives as a lot of things:

  • We have add a new vocabulary, during the day if you need some help from any colleague you can ask them in which colour is she.
  • If there is a lot of greens, it could be a good moment to introduce new cool things. If there is a red wave, we should introduce something to fix this but not new trendy things, might it’s not a good moment for experiments.
  • People is more concerned about how their teammates are going on. Thanks to that it has emerged healthy and polite conversations talking about why are you yellow or red, in order to know better each other and see whether you can help them. We never force people to be red, this is the point.
  • Not everything that counts can be counted, but with this calendar we are also trying to follow a couple of rules in order to make it usefull: promote our values and transparency, because people can come to it and show how we are feeling, day after day (we mesure it often, I mean daily); and because NikoNiko visualize and humanize a great metric, which is a great start on how people looks metrics.

Agile, Lean, company culture, new ways of management or self-management enthusiast.