The team places a calendar on a room wall. The format of the calendar allows every team member to describe their mood over the course of the day every workday. This can be either a hand-drawn “emoji“, or a simple color sticker, with a color code, for example: red for a bad day, yellow for neutral, green for a good day. Over time, the niko-niko calendar reveals a pattern of the mood change between each member of the team.



Also Known As

It’s name is derivated from the Japanese word “niko” which stands for “smile“; this is followed by a known patter of word doubling in Japaneses, “niko-niko” has a meaning that is closer to “smiley”.

It is also referred as the “mood board”.


The value of this practice lies beneath an important element of team performance – drive or well-being – which is normally seen as very subjective and thus difficult to measure or track. This may be seen as an illustration of the Gilb Measurability Principle: “anything you need to quantify can be measured in some way that is superior to not measuring it at all.” In other words, a measurement does not have to be accurate, as long as your intent is to get a quantitative take on something that was only qualitative; the important thing is to make that first step toward quantifying.

Common Mistakes

As with every other activities, team members are always very nervous when asked to report subjective feelings. This can be the case, for example, if team members who report poor days are often blamed for “whining”, by their superiors or other colleagues.