On the road with Happiness door

Juan Cruz Alonso
4 min readSep 24, 2020


Teams are in constant movement and learning, I see it as if they took the route for their journey and they need to stop at different points to carry out diagnoses of their vehicle. At many of the stops, we will surely discover that our car is fine, but what happens when we find that our vehicle has things that need to be improved?

One of the dynamics that has worked for me for this type of situation with different teams is the use of Happiness Door. This is one of the tools proposed by Management 3.0 that allows us to adapt to what we are doing and to fit with the needs of each group by means of anonymous feedback as soon as possible. In this article, we will talk a little about our journey with this practice.

Our team grew suddenly, from 7 members we stopped to 16 (at the time of writing this note). This increase generated great attrition in spaces such as the retrospectives that we had every 2 weeks and other events. To deal with this problem we turn to the Happiness Door (HD) to get honest feedback to improve the motivation and happiness of the team in these events and to be able to solve them in an empirical way.

To carry it out, we created a Miro board, to which we gave people to access after each event, to give their feedback on how much they would like it, all they had to do was put a post-it on our emotions scale to indicate how they felt and if there was anything to improve, without having to put their name.

What we observed was that little by little the members were able to enter to express themselves and thus allow us to refine each situation that could happen, allowing the same group to attack the different pains that arose (initially with our help), propose ideas, or simply highlight something.

Being able to respond to the feedback they provided, in addition to helping to improve events such as the retrospective, allowed us to generate more confidence and for the dynamics to flow better in the following days.

The result was seen in a short time, a very large team that by sharing their pain could establish actions to resolve them, even they themselves generated retrospectives with specific themes of the Happiness Door without having to get lost in a sea of ​​different situations. We put the focus where we had to put it, in addition to the medium-term self-management of the same team to carry out the dynamics.

But then … is that all? No, there is still a long way to go, this is one of the first steps we set out to take. In another article, I will tell you how the plugin worked with other Management 3.0 practices like Niko-Niko Calendar and Kudos Wall. I tested them looking for deeper introspection and it came out great.

It has been an incredible journey since as a facilitator I learn that teams change, all the time, they have motivations, fears, and anger and it is our task to accompany them to be able to apply different dynamics that allow them to meet as a team. I also learned that many times asking for feedback directly with little confidence does not work (I get superficial feedback) it is important to generate diversity in how to obtain it and anonymously is another way to learn about what is happening inside our teams. I recommend for future experiments to complement these practices with others in order to enhance the effects of internal group learning. Also, we can change the emoticons to build trust and fun in the group (I have come to use different Batman emoticons and relate the feedback to each Batman state).

On the other hand, the team learned that it is not wrong to externalize the non-conformity that allows actions to be taken to resolve this situation in order to obtain performance and union. The team can adopt this practice for themselves, we as facilitators can support them by using it to expose what it hurts and to improve it. It gives us confidence among the team, it allows us to transform that into actions and to accompany each other in our path to performance.

What do you think of this type of practice? Have you experimented with Happiness Door or other dynamics of this type?

I invite you to lean on this Management 3.0 practice, test them with your teams using a collaborative board (Mural, Miro), and take the first steps in transforming feedback into happiness for your teams.