My favorite type of meeting is a variation of Lean Coffee (leancoffee.org). It has spoiled me for other meetings.
- When we get together, we brainstorm what we’d like to talk about. You can do this beforehand on stickies or using online tools.
- Optionally, we present our ideas and aggregate overlapping topics. We often skip this step if the list is small and visible to the whole group.
- We vote on the topics. Often each participant gets three votes to distribute across the topics or multiple on one topic.
- We start discussing the most popular topic. After 5 minutes, we evaluate if the group wants to continue this discussion or move onto the next most popular topic. we use a thumbs up to vote to stay on this topic and a thumbs down to vote to move on. If we vote to continue, the timer is set to 3 minutes (or 1 minute if it feels like the topic is winding down). When that timer expires, the voting procedure is repeated.
- We reflect on the epiphanies, the Aha! moments, from the topic just discussed.
- We discuss the next most popular topic, setting the timer for 5 minutes and continuing like the last topic, repeating the process until the time or topics are exhausted.