Shield Wall, the importance of knowing each other as a team using Niko-Niko and other practices

Juan Cruz Alonso
4 min readSep 21, 2020


I have the big opportunity to work with good performing teams, very united, and always eager to collaborate with whoever needs it. As a joke, and taking the famous “Vikings” series as a point, I often say that these teams are united within a wall of shields. All with the same vision, working to achieve the objectives and self-managing their steps to achieve it by closing ranks.

All this sounds very good, but it is not enough just to look outside, we must also look at how we are inside “that wall of shields.” So I ask you, do you usually perform dynamics to know how your teams are doing? Do you recognize colleagues? Do they share ideas or pains?. If the answer is no, I want to share with you some practices that are very useful when you work with teams.

I ran into this problem on several teams. Groups can work with high performance but it is a matter of time they lose precision. When one of the walls falls, the wall itself falls apart. That is why we decided to work on energizing the groups with daily dynamics carried out by themselves.

Management 3.0 proposes various activities so that teams can get to know each other more. I have experimented with combining three of them: Kudos, Calendario Niko-Niko y Happiness Door.

Using Miro we created our group’s “Playground” where we could access the three dynamics at any time.

First of all, we have the Niko-Niko practice in our team Miro so we can share their state of mind without going to other tools. This allows us to get weekly and a daily photo of how the mood of the team is. The activity is very simple, we use our calendar to track our daily mood. It helps a lot to put the name and photo of each member. Each teammate put at the end of the day one emoticon according to the mood. If you work in Sprints, you can see how the sprint mood is and take action in future ones. I recommend this to measure the motivation of the team also.

Another of the playground’s practices is the Happiness Door. This allows the team to bring down what happened in the member’s day a little more to the ground. This is our space to share this kind of stuff without waiting for a meeting like a retrospective event in Scrum. Many times getting angry and waiting a long time to talk about it can cause greater damage in a person or a group. To carry out this activity, we place our double doors with four quadrants where they can express what went well, what we should improve, what ideas we have, and what situations we experience that do not contribute to our day to day.

Finally, we add our third practice to be able to highlight our teammates, we start using our Kudos Wall. Sometimes the amount of work in our day with the aid of the big quantity of problems that need to be solved takes away the focus of this type of gestures where we say to our colleagues thank you for being there, for supporting me, or simply highlighting some points to improve. As a Scrum Master friend would say, “A pat on the back.”

Well continuing with this experience, not everything was easy. Initially, we had to battle as a team against those who did not believe much in this kind of dynamic. Battle the “I forgot to load them” and @I don’t have time”. But with the support of those who saw value in these practices, we progressed and started modifying the dynamics so that it was the team’s way. We started with some faces on the Niko-Niko and ended with a trunk of different stickers with different expressions. These practices can be as fun as they are useful and each team will find the point where they contribute the most.

As a facilitator, I have learned that these types of dynamics help energize teams. One day he opens the doors to express anger and frustrations. Another opens days of laughter. Things that I consider necessary when we venture as a group in search of objectives. It also strengthens relationships, generates empathy, and favorably affects motivation. For my next experiment, I would see to increase the diversity of emotions that can be expressed in addition to the fact that I would very much like to be able to have it visible where we are working, but hey, Miro has proven to be very useful in these pandemic time.

As I said at the beginning, the Shield Wall is great but let’s not forget that within it we must also work day by day to strengthen ourselves as a group. Communicating is one of the great keys, let’s encourage ourselves to tell us how we are doing.

I invite you to try this idea or visit the management 3.0 site where you will see various practices for working with your teams. If you have a question, you can contact me and we can talk about this dynamic. I recommend beginning to present them well how the practice works and tell them why they think you can collaborate a lot with the group.