Happiness Door for the continuous improvement of meetings

Leonor Bonets
4 min readAug 16, 2020

A practical and quick way to measure participants’ feelings during meetings.

Happiness Door by Management 3.0

Acting as Product Owner of a diverse and multidisciplinary team, I hold recurring Inception and Grooming meetings before considering a user story ready to be built.

Concerned with our latest meetings’ progress, in which I no longer felt the same productivity, I needed to know what could be improved and what was not being talked about during Sprint Retrospectives.

I decided to implement a on-line Happiness Door at the end of the Inception/Grooming meetings.

Preparations

It’s very simple: I set up a board with 3 columns on IdeaBoardz to identify:

  • What was good
  • What can improve
  • What was not good

I sent a link to the on-line Happiness Door at the end of the meeting and asked everyone to come in to score what they liked, what could be improved, and what they didn’t like. I said it was like a “satisfaction survey”, that it was anonymous and that they should be sincere, yet kind =D. The tool allows you to “like” others post-it notes, so I informed them that in addition to contributing with their post-it notes, they could also like others’ post-it notes.

Outcomes

First Happiness Door

At the end of the first round it was already possible to identify:

  • What the team values ​​(for instance, respecting the meeting’s time);
  • What needed to be improved (prior alignment of the topic);
  • The exchange of the planning poker tool was not well accepted.

I immediately outlined an action plan for our next grooming meeting, focusing on the prior alignment of the topics that would be addressed. Once again, I sent them a link to the Happiness Door at the end of the meeting and the action I took brought good results:

Second Happiness Door

Thanks to the anticipation of the meeting’s content there was an evolution regarding the previous feedback and a new improvement point emerged in this second round of Happiness Door: not everyone was participating. This is due to the different technologies used, and we do not always need all the technical profiles to build a user story. I took it to the Scrum Master who suggested that we adopt the pair analysis process.

Lessons learned

As I stated earlier, it is a very simple to implement practice that brings quick results. I continue to use it at the end of all the meetings I lead, not only the grooming and inception meetings, but I recently used it after leading a Moving Motivators session with the team:

I like the anonymity allowed by the tool because it helps people to be sincere. I haven’t had the opportunity to apply it face-to-face yet, but I intend to keep using the on-line option instead of placing post-it notes on a wall or a door.

On the other hand, as it is online and anonymous, participation is not traceable, so there is no guarantee that everyone will share their feelings about the meeting, nor is it possible to know if there is anyone who never contributes. I like to think that people tend to expose their most extreme feelings: if they found something awesome or too bad. Thus, I believe that the opinions collected are the most relevant, even if not everyone contributed to the Happiness Door.

Happiness Door: Get fast feedback and generate happiness in a meeting, event or workshop. — Management 3.0

What about trying it right now?

Click on the Happiness Door link below and make your contribution! Tell me your opinion about this article:

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Leonor Bonets

Group Product Manager/ Tribe Leader/ Management 3.0