Essentially, a Lean Coffee is a group of people working together to learn about lean in an informal setting. It's like a mini-unconference where the participants decide on the schedule. The timeframe is typically one to two hours. The number of people is best between 6-8 but 4-10 works fine.
For an illustrated guide, go to http://leancoffee.org/
One person facilitates these actions.
Step 1: Everybody writes down topics they'd like to discuss on stickies placing them in a column in the center of the table. Give as much time as needed, but typically takes only 3-5 minutes.
Step 2: Each topic is briefly described by its writer (15-30 seconds typically per stickie).
Step 3: Each person gets three votes which they indicate by marking the voted for stickie with a dot (they can put as many votes as they like on one stickie).
Step 4: The top three stickies are placed in a new column, ordered by the stickies with the most votes at the top
Step 5: Each of these stickies are discussed for 5-15 minutes. When the facilitator thinks the discussion has reached a good end-point she asks if everyone is complete. When complete move the stickie over into a new column that represents 'done'. Repeat step until all done.
Step 6: If enough time is left over, do another stickie or two.
Celebrate being done.
Arrange to do a lean coffee in a coffee shop where they will give you a room or table at which to sit. Attend to parking issues. Do it the same morning, same time, same location every week so people can just show up when they want to without worrying about whether it is taking place.
See Democratize a Meeting with Personal Kanban to learn more about Lean Coffee's method of setting an agenda.
Lean Coffee Template on Google Docs
Want to add your Lean Coffee group to the list? Email Limited WIP Society