Lean CoffeeLean Coffee

Lean Coffee Template

Run structured but agenda-less meetings with confidence.

About the Lean Coffee Template

What is Lean Coffee?

The Lean Coffee approach is a new way to structure meetings. The focus is on making the best use of everyone’s skills, resources, and time. There tend to be three different stages in a Lean Coffee meeting: what to discuss, what’s being discussed, and what’s been discussed. The meeting attendees run the agenda, and no one person or voice is in danger of dominating, encouraging different perspectives to be heard. 

When to use Lean Coffee

The Lean Coffee approach can be useful for team brainstorms or retrospectives. These sessions work best in small groups (ideally 10 people or less), either first as an experiment or a regular cadence (such as twice-weekly) if the need exists. 

You can also use Lean Coffee as an educational tool. Maybe some of your teammates are new to company methodologies such as Agile or Scrum. In that case, Lean Coffee adapts to suit a round of ‘lightning talks” to get everyone up to speed with essential concepts.

Create your own Lean Coffee

Making your own Lean Coffee meeting is easy. Miro’s whiteboard tool is the perfect canvas to create and share them. Get started by selecting the Lead Coffee template, then take the following steps to make one of your own.

Collect your discussion topics in one area. Ask everyone to add sticky notes with their preferred topics. Keep the topics brief and on-point for readability. Some participants may only have broad “themes” whereas other participants may have specific ideas they want to unpack. Both are welcome. 

Prioritize topics by voting. Use emojis to “dot vote” (two to three votes per person) for your favorite topics to discuss. People can either spread their votes across topics or use all their votes on one topic. Use Miro’s Countdown Timer to keep voting to under three minutes.

Start your timer and begin the discussion. The group can start discussing topics in order of popularity. The person who suggested the topic has an opportunity to discuss it in-depth. 

Use majority voting to continue, stop, or indicate mixed feelings about the topic discussion. After 8 minutes, the group can vote on whether to continue listening or move onto the next topic. Repeat as needed to expand the discussion or keep moving. It’s important to keep timeboxing discussions so that everyone can contribute and participate. 

As you move from topic-to-topic, update the columns accordingly. To help everyone keep track of the different topics being discussed, pick a facilitator to move the sticky note topics to “Being Discussed” or “Discussed.” 

Wrap up the meeting and get everyone to contribute an insight. Save the last five minutes of the Lean Coffee to ask each person to share their learning or a key takeaway. If the majority of the group expresses that they’d like a hold a Lean Coffee again, reschedule it for a date in the near future.

Lean Coffee Template

Get started with this template right now. It’s free

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