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What is Lean Coffee methodology? And how to implement it in your company in 5 steps

We almost always think about teamwork as a series of steps in a production line. However, there are more creative ways to deal with daily tasks in a company.

In this article you are going to discover all about this new work practice, popularly known as “Lean Coffee”, and how to implement it successfully in your team.

What is “Lean Coffee”?

Lean Coffee is a semi-structured meeting model, in which the conversation agenda is defined democratically at the beginning of it. The idea was developed by Jim Benson y Jeremy Lightsmith in 2009 in Seattle.

How to implement the Lean Coffee methodology in 5 steps
1. Establish who will play the roles

Decide who will be responsible/moderator of this dynamic, the one who has to know exactly what the needs are. He/she will also take into consideration what resources are available and what are the goals to be achieved.

2. Define from the beginning the objectives of the campaign

It is necessary from the beginning to specify what are the expectations of the client and the goals that have to be achieved in order to address the campaign successfully. In this way we will allow the rest of the team to develop their daily tasks thinking about the final goal but also being aware of the fact that they have to respect short-term deliveries that will be approved by the client before taking the next step.

3. Get ready to start the game
  1. Set up a Kanban board and divide the stages as you please, for example: to do, in progress, in pending, done.
  2. Divide the different stages in columns.
  3. Use different colours for each stage in order to facilitate at a visual level the position of each task.
  4. Use post-it to write your ‘to do’ tasks during the marketing campaign.
  5. Define the short-term deadline of each task to fulfil the campaign delivery with your client on time.
  6. Schedule a daily meeting lasting no more than 15 minutes, to know what the progress of the previous day was, what each one will do on that day and what the difficulties of the team are.
  7. Move post-it of the tasks from ‘to do’ to ‘in progress’ or to ‘done’.
The follow-up meeting will be important to keep the group focused.

As the team proceeds in each task, they can fill the Kanban board that makes visible and clear what has to be done and what has been completed.

4. Evaluate performance

In the evaluation and performance meeting, the moderator will behave as a guide to provide advice and eliminate friction and to give inputs to each member in order to stimulate and support new ideas and creativity.

Compared with the traditional way of leading a marketing campaign, it is important to underline the multiple benefits of adopting an Agile Project Marketing Management dynamic:

  • 100% focus on your equipment
  • Fast delivery
  • Upgrade of the work quality
  • Continuous improvement
  • Satisfaction of customer expectations
5. Lock in the learning and make a report

Once the campaign is ready and delivered, get used to having a retrospection meeting with your team for your upcoming projects and get used to proposing the following questions:

  • What were the most productive sprints? Why?
  • How came up the best ideas from the team? What was the key of the success?
  • What were the errors?
  • What were the aspects that moved forward? What was the key of the improvement?

Follow these simple steps and you will gain greater involvement in your team, better results and all in rapid times.

Filomena Santoro – Co founder & Marketing Director @ConnectionH2H