Stress-O-Meter Trajectory

Quick Christmas blog post. I wanted to share a tool I have used a few times with teams, the stress-o-meter. I should stress I didn’t come up with this, I first came across it in Jimmy Janlens’ book Toolbox for the Agile Coach – Visualization Examples

Here is our team’s example:



It’s a really great idea. Ask each of the team to mark where on the stress-o-meter they are each morning at the stand-up. If someone is really stressed then how can the team help? As a Scrum Master, it can be a useful pointer as to when the team as a whole is too stressed or maybe even too comfortable.


I have also seen this used as a happiness index asking people to rate where how happy they are, with pictures alongside to represent happiness (we had used dogs for this previously). This works great as well.


One thing the team have naturally done which is something I haven’t seen before and thought blog worthy is instead of marking their happiness/stress with a line creating a tally in a box is to draw an arrow. This arrow shows the trajectory of their stress/happiness, is it going the right or wrong way? This makes the stress/happiness level a more useful piece of info for others in the team.


Having it drawn as an arrow nudges the team to more readily explore what can be done to change the stress/happiness level, having it as a tally line could limit the team by subconsciously thinking that person stress is stuck in that particular box. As you can see in the pic our boxes have started to naturally be rubbed off.


You can even see a few circles with arrows, as always I like to allow the team to experiment and change the tool to adapt for what gives them the greatest value.


Merry Christmas all


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