In a recent retrospective a question came up about morale. That triggered a memory about an activity for tracking the mood of a team. I tried to recreate the activity as best as I on the spot. This is how it went. We passed around sticky notes, everyone drew a smile, meh, or frown face to capture their overall mood from the previous sprint. The papers were folded / crumbled to keep them anonymous. The votes were then tallied and then we discussed the results.
Obviously this method of capturing morale can lead to skewed results. It’s hard to sum up or even remember all of the things that affect your mood during a sprint. If someone is really happy or mad on the day of the retrospective, that might lead to an overall mood that doesn’t take into account the other days of the sprint.
Since I’m a developer my mind naturally jumps to solving this problem with software. So I wrote up a little application to track my team’s happiness. The code is available at github.
The inspiration for this comes from the niko-niko calendar. One major difference is that this project is designed to “anonymously” track moods. Data is captured at a cookie level to link a single users stats over time, but there is nothing that will identify that person beyond what the put in their notes field.