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Lean Coffee is a structured meeting format where there is no agenda. The agenda is flexible and it is built by the participants during the meeting itself.


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Q 319. Lean coffee is a meeting with NO agenda. How is such a meeting facilitated? Give some examples of situations in which it could work.



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Lean Coffee first started in Seattle in 2009 by Jim Benson and Jeremy Lightsmith. It is a new format of holding meetings primarily focusing at minimizing the wastage of time during meetings and to use the available time in the most efficient manner. The format is inspired from Lean thinking and akin to a meeting in an informal place like a coffee shop. So here when the employees gather for a meeting the agenda is not pre decided, thus keeping the staff interested about the discussion as everybody talks about what they want to talk about which is why Lean Coffee is best described as agenda less meeting.


How to Facilitate a Lean Coffee Meeting ?




Steps to Facilitate a Lean Coffee Meeting:

  1. Nomination of a Facilitator
  2. Topics to be suggested by Participants in the first 5 minutes
  3. Topics to be explained by the Participants in brief.
  4. Prioritization of topics for discussions by voting
  5. Discussion of topics in order of popularity and timeboxing each topic of discussion
  6. End the session with a short wrap up.

Examples of Situations :

  1. Brainstorming Meetings at Work/Team Huddles
  2. Lean Coffee meet ups to create a podcast.
  3. Conferences and Open Space Events
  4. Agile Workshops
  5. Induction trainings/workshops to break ice between participants.
  6. Strategy Discussions/ Roadmap exercise in Boardroom
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