Tracking the mood of the team is something that agile practitioners are doing for quite a long time. For example, in 2006, Akinori Sakata, explained in this article the use of Niko-niko calendar.
The idea is to tighten the feedback loop, and to detect problems even before they become really conscious to an individual, or to the team.
By exploring how we feel at the end of the day, it helps us to take a step back, and sometime to express what is not going well from our point of view.
So, I used it for teams, co-localized or distributed, for quite some time. The tooling is really simple if you only want to deal with the mood of one team.
At some point, I wanted to expand this to track the mood of an entire company, so we could be able to get more feedback, and to adapt what we were doing.
I had a look at what was on the market, and at this time, hppy.com provided a tool to allow a quick feedback using a smiley ( 🙂 😐 🙁 ) and to leave a short text message associated to that.
Is it a tooling problem?
Obviously the quality of the tool you will use, will have an impact on your ability to run analysis, or to scale the mood measurement, but my take after several experiments is that it’s not a tooling problem.
It’s how you will take into account the feedback and act accordingly.
You could also be interested in this article Manage Your Emotional Culture published in the Harvard Business Review at the beginning of the year.