Principles of lean coffee
Basically it’s a group of people holding short, structured discussions about topics decided on by that group. No it’s really that simple!! Read more about it at leancoffee.org and Agile Testing Days 2012 – Day 2
|5P’s – Preparation prevents …|
So here are my tips for running a lean coffee session for large groups:
Don’t panic! Seriously, it’s not that hard, just read the rest of the tips
Set up – If you know roughly how many people are going to attend, set up enough tables for ~8 per table. Each table has enough pens and postits.
Set up #2 – If you don’t know how many people will be there, then make sure you have a clear idea of where your groups might sit. Perhaps have ‘packs’ of postits and pens ready.
The Process– Write out the lean coffee process on large flipchart paper so that you can refer people to them
Facilitate – with large groups, you will be a facilitator, and not necessarily taking part in the discussions.
Arrival – As people arrive, shepherd them to tables. Start filling tables up rather than spreading people out.
Start – As soon as one table is >6 people, get them started. Briefly explain the process (referring them to the flip chart
Repeat – continue shepherding people to tables and kicking them off, whilst making sure the other tables know what they are doing.
And finally… when you are coming near to the end of the allotted time, suggest that each table does a quick round up
Things to keep an eye on
- If someone is familiar with Lean Coffee on a table, then encourage them to lead it.
- Make sure someone has a timer (mobile phone)
- Encourage people to start writing their post-its even if the table isn’t full yet… it saves time, particularly for people that arrive later
- Some tables will require a bit more prodding to start writing, or a bit of help to get started with the discussion process.