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What Is a Niko-Niko Calendar?

A Niko-Niko calendar is a visual tool in calendar format that’s used to track the emotions of a team, also known as the happiness index. The calendar layout includes columns that contain all team members’ names.

At the end of each working day, each team member summarizes the mood they had during the workday. This is normally represented with a smiley sticker indicating “happy,” “sad,” or “angry” faces. The team member is required to give the reason behind how they rated their workday. For example, a team member may indicate a straight-faced smiley because of bad internet coverage or ill-health. 

This is where the name originates, Niko means smile in Japanese. A double form of it is closer to “smiley.”  Over time, the Niko-Niko calendar reveals patterns in the mood of each team. The main goal of a Niko-Niko calendar in Agile project management isn’t to measure the team’s emotions. Rather, it helps to quantify morale, mental well-being, and team drive. As a result, project managers can get a general view of the team’s performance. To get started, you can build a Niko-Niko calendar template that includes three color dots. Red for a bad day, green for a good day, yellow for a not-so-great day.  

You can also use a Niko-Niko calendar online if your team is working remotely. The information obtained from a Niko-Niko calendar calls for moments of reflection. This way, you can uncover patterns behind changing team mood and how they impact the work environment. 

When team members share their feelings about both personal and professional matters, It creates an opportunity to build transparency and trust in the team.

Agile Niko-Niko calendar benefits include:

  • Discovering patterns or activities that trigger certain moods
  • Getting daily feedback on each team members’ moods, identify those that are facing challenges, and figure out how to provide support and counseling
  • Identifying ways to help team members feel valued and recognized