Britta Ollrogge - Agile Coach
Britta Ollrogge - Agile Coach

Happiness Door - Feedback between the retrospectives

Britta Ollrogge

At the end of a sprint the team discusses the challenges and learnings in a retrospective: What should be kept? What should be improved? What should be stopped? Also often in the beginning of the retro I ask my team-mates how happy they’ve been felt during the sprint. For this I usually use glue dots and flip charts with smiley’s or whether symbols.

But 2 weeks is a long time, and sometimes important topics (especially the good ones) aren’t remembered. Therefore I started to use the Happiness Door, which has been established by Jurgen Appelo (Management 3.0).
It’s the perfect combination to measure the office pulse and get some detailed insights.


How to use the Happiness Door?

I introduced the idea to the team and put the Flip Chart next to the door.

Introduction to the Happiness Door: Always if you noticed something that should be made transparent and shared with other make a note on a sticky note. Dependent on your mood regarding this issue choose the according smiley. If there's no time to write a sticky note, a glue dot or an empty sticky note can be used to show your mood.

In the retrospective I bring the flip-chart. Then everyone can decide on his own whether there are topics on the chart he want to bring into the discussion.

Happiness Door: Example

Why is happiness important and should be measured?

Do we really need happy people at work or is it sufficient, if the people just work?

In the Hardward Business manager (April 2012) was an interesting article regarding happiness at work. Gretchen Spreitzer (professor at the Ross School of Business University of Michigan) and Christine Porath (assistant professor at the  McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University) found out that companies with happy employees have  economical advantages: In the long run happy employees perform better, come to work on a regular basis, quit rarely, and  they are more proactive and enthusiastic. They are like marathon runners – they do a good job on a constant basis.
The two professors identified four key factors that support happiness: Share information, provide people with
leeway, be polite and offer feedback.


Therefore the Happiness Door fulfils two purposes: It measures happiness, but it also supports happiness, because information is shared and feedback gets visible.


  • Some encouragement to give feedback is necessary. I noticed that sometimes topics were discussed and somebody mentioned: "We should put this on the feedback chart", but then not everybody agreed and nothing was done. Therefore encourage your team-mates not to discuss whether a topic should be put to the chart or not, encourage them just to do it.
  • Provide sticky notes, pens and glue dots neer the chart.
  • The team liked the possibility to give feedback and not to wait until the retrospective.


More information about the Happiness Door can be found here:



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