Which institute is best for NDA preparation
Lean Change uses Lean Coffee as an experiment to find out who is interested in a change and, if necessary, supports it. The change agent invites you to Lean Coffee and supports it as a coordinator. Usually the format becomes independent and participants who have already been there initiate further Lean Coffees of their own. Originally, Lean Coffee is a format designed in 2009 by the two agile coaches Jim Benson and Jeremy Lightsmith for a meeting without a pre-defined agenda, to which everyone can easily can invite with a notice and in which the participants determine the topics themselves at the beginning. In order to be able to discuss as many topics as possible, the time per topic is limited. Lean Coffee is a structured format for unstructured meetings:
- Leanbecause it is committed to the principles of lean thinking (including avoiding waste, intensifying learning, personal responsibility, seeing the big picture [Pop 03]), and
- Coffeebecause a relaxed, informal atmosphere like in a coffee shop should be achieved. Therefore, the participants are also invited to bring their coffee.
With a Lean Coffee, it is always assumed that the right people are present, as only those come who really care about the subject of the conversation. There are no time limits or recommendations for Lean Coffee, usually a duration of 1 to 1.5 hours .Notice of invitationIf you want to host a Lean Coffee, you simply post invitations. These indicate the place and time as well as roughly the topic to be discussed (see illustration). The invitation also makes it clear that there is no agenda on the basis of which pre-defined topics are discussed. Since the invitations should be read by as many as possible, it is best to hang them up in heavily frequented places, e.g. on the notice board, in the coffee kitchen by the coffee machine or on passageways in the corridors. In contrast to formal meetings, there are no direct personal invitations by email or the like.Figure 1 shows an invitation to a lean coffee, Figure 2 shows an invitation that has been posted.Process of a lean coffeeUsually, the person inviting the event opens the Lean Coffee. First of all, there is a coordinator among the participants. He coordinates the collection of topics, manages the topic board, which is visible to all, and ensures that the specified discussion time is adhered to. The invitee asks those present if someone would like to take over the coordination, otherwise he will take over. At the beginning of the Lean Coffee, the participants collect the topics to be discussed and prioritize them. Then the most important topic for all participants is started and this is discussed for a set period of time. After the time has elapsed, the participants decide with a simple show of hands whether they want to continue discussing this topic or start with the next one.Coordination of the topics with a topic boardFirst of all, a coordinator can be found among the participants. He keeps an eye on the time per topic, coordinates the collection of topics and manages the topic board, which is visible to all. ColumnThe topic board has three columns with the headings “to be discussed”, “in discussion” and “discussed” and can list be guided on a flipchart or whiteboard. The individual columns mean:
- „to discuss": All topics that should be discussed are collected here,
- „in discussion": The currently discussed topic is displayed here,
- „discussed“: This is where the topics that have already been discussed are collected.
The individual topics are displayed on sticky notes and “wander” on the topic board from the column “to be discussed” via the column “in discussion” to the column “discussed”.Everyone brings in their topicsIf you want to discuss a topic, write it on a sticky note and attach it to the board in the column “to discuss”. Not every participant has to propose a topic. Collecting topics is completed when no more participants offer a topic. Collecting them usually only takes a few minutes. If new topics arise during the discussions, these are also collected on the topic board. These can be discussed if there is still time after all the discussions have been completed. After the collection, the moderator asks each topic provider to briefly introduce their topic in 1-2 sentences. An example: An employee wants to try out agile project management and is looking for supporters. He also invites you to a lean coffee. The participants added sub-topics such as "What will be different then?", "How do we get management support?", "Which agile method should we use?" And the like.Prioritize the topicsSince the time for Lean Coffee is limited, only the most important topics can be discussed. Therefore, participants need to prioritize the proposed topics in order to discuss them in descending order of importance. Depending on the duration of the discussions on the topics, it may happen that topics with low priority, i.e. little interest, can no longer be discussed due to time constraints. Prioritization can take place, for example, by so-called "dot voting": Each participant receives three small round stickers that he can stick on the subjects that interest him. He distributes the points according to the importance of the topics for him: For example, if he is equally interested in three topics, then all three topics receive one point each; if he is particularly interested in a topic, he awards all three points for it. As an alternative to the stickers, three lines can also be made with pens. The topics are then sorted in descending order of number of points. It starts with the topic that has the most points and therefore the greatest interest. So that as many topics as possible can be worked on and the time distribution is fair, the group determines a fixed time limit for each topic. After this, e.g. 5 or 10 minutes, the next topic is started. If you can finish your topic faster, you can end it prematurely and thus give topics with lower priority time.Discussion and extension of the discussion timeWhen the discussion starts, the coordinator will hang the sticky note with this topic from the column “to be discussed” to the column “under discussion”. At the beginning of the discussion, the participant who brought up this topic briefly introduces it again in a few sentences. He is also responsible for dealing with the results.After the set discussion time has expired, the moderator lets the group vote whether they want to continue discussing this topic or whether they want to take the next topic. To do this, the moderator calls on each participant to give their opinion with a simple show of hands:
- „thumbs up“: I want to discuss this topic further
- „Thumbs down“: For me the topic has been fully discussed, I want to discuss a new topic.
The group should agree beforehand how to deal with the result of the vote:
- either Majority decision: The simple majority of the show of hands decides.
- or Veto decision: As soon as even a "thumbs down" is shown, this is interpreted as a veto and the next topic starts. (The coordinator ensures that the other participants do not complain to the veto-giver about his decision.)
If the topic is discussed further, a shorter period of time (e.g. only 3 minutes) should be available for this. After the extension has expired, the vote will take place again. If there is still a need for discussion, this topic is obviously so important to the participants that an extra meeting is worthwhile in which it is fully discussed. The participant who brought up this topic will schedule an extra meeting. When the discussion on this topic is over, his sticky note is placed in the "discussed" column and the next topic starts by hanging his sticky note in the "under discussion" column If there are still high-priority topics left over after the time has elapsed, this can be a good motivation for further Lean Coffees. However, it must then be ensured that you do not simply continue with the topic list, but rather run through the format again, i.e. start collecting topics.ModificationsYou can also experiment with the Lean Coffee format to find the right variant for you. In the case of Lean Coffees, which are only intended to serve the exchange of information ("Information Exchange Lean Coffee"), the prioritization can be omitted and the discussion time can be shortened to 3 or 5 minutes, for example - first a short information exchange lean coffee is carried out and then a decision is made, e.g. by dot voting, which topic you want to delve into more deeply.Differentiation from open spaceLean Coffee differs from Open Space in that
- there is only one discussion with all participants,
- the discussion on a topic is limited in time from the outset and
- there is not necessarily an action plan at the end of the meeting. Therefore, Lean Coffee is better suited for exchanging experiences.
ConclusionLean Coffee is a structured, agenda-free meeting format in which the participants themselves determine the agenda through the topics they bring up. In order to discuss as many topics as possible, the length of the discussion per topic is limited by a time limit. Lean Coffee differs from other meetings in that
- everyone can invite informally,
- it is a hierarchy-free meeting,
- no content preparation is necessary,
- there are no excessive discussions due to time limits and coordination,
- the participants can get involved by addressing the topics that are important to them,
- by prioritizing the topics that are most important to most participants are discussed first.
Lean Coffee lives from the fact that each group experiments with it and tries out what suits them best. This includes all components of Lean Coffee: the discussion time, the prioritization process, etc. In this respect, this article is a suggestion for your own experiments.literature[Pop 03]: Poppendieck, Mary and Poppendieck, Tom: Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit for Software Development Managers. Addison Wesley. 2003 (This article is based on the source material for an article for Projekt Magazin)
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