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Board Phases

Brainstorm

This is the time to add topics to the discussion with as much detail as needed. The other contributors will be adding topics at the same time. The facilitator will decide when to move to the Prioritize phase in which you and the other contributors will vote on the most important topics.

Prioritize

Now all contributors vote on the most important topics. Topics can be voted on multiple times, but each contributor has a limited number of votes. The facilitator will move the discussion into the Discuss phase soon, after enough time passes or all votes are cast.

Discuss

The topics have been sorted from most votes to least votes. The facilitator will kick off the discussion of each topic by asking the author to read or expand on the topic. The facilitator will also timebox each topic and call for thumbs at the end of the timebox to determine whether or not to dedicate more time to the topic. The facilitator or scribe may take notes on this discussion. These takeaways will appear under each topic.

About Lean Coffee and the Board

Brainstorm topics, prioritize the topics by importance, and then discuss the topics in timeboxes.

Your role as Facilitator is to get the other participants to share what topics they'd like to discuss, control the phases of the meeting, and then to help the participants discuss what's most important to them, take notes, and timebox the conversations about each topic.

LeanCoffee.org and Agile Coffee are fantastic resources on learning why and how to run a discussion using lean coffee.

Phases

Brainstorm

The participants should be adding topics to the lists during this phase. Its a good idea to timebox this phase to a few minutes or to ask the participants to fill this out beforehand. If you are using Icebreakers, nows also a good time to ask the participants to elaborate on any responses to get them all talking.

When there are enough topics or the timer has run out, transition to Prioritize.

Prioritize

The participants are voting on which topics are most important to them. You may ask the topic authors to read their topics out loud and answer any simple questions, but keep this short and to the point. Participants are able to vote on the same topic multiple times if they have enough votes.

When all votes or enough votes have been cast by the participants, move to the Discuss phase.

Discuss

The board automatically sorts each list by most to least votes. It is now your job as Facilitator to kick off the discussion of the most important topic. Ask the author of the topic to read and expand on the topic.

Don't forget to set the timebox!

When the timer has run out, use the "Continue/Stop" button to ask participants if they would like to continue the conversation on this topic or stop and move to the next topic. If they'd like to continue with the current topic, consider using a shorter timebox. If they'd like to stop and move to the next topic, do so.

It is also up to you or any Scribes to take notes or takeaways on each topic using the "Takeaway" button.