Melbourne West-End CBD Lean Coffee

Lean Coffee is one of my favourite ways of learning. It’s a forum that brings diverse experience to the table on how lean or agile practices, principles and values are applied.

The Melbourne West-End CBD Lean Coffee kicked off January 2014 in the Guildford Lane cafe – Krimper.
Lean Coffee Kanban
The Lean Coffee Framework is really simple for anyone to follow;

1. Cards or stickies
2. Textas or Pens
3. Timer
4. Location where you can chat & hear each other

1. Always good to do a round table of introductions to break the ice
2. Create your Kanban wall
3. Give people time to write down topics they would like discuss to create the backlog

Prioritise Backlog:
Often groups will take a dot vote on topics.We went for blind vote – that is you can’t see what everyone else is voting for, much like planning poker
1. Number each card
2. Ask people to pick the most important topic they would like to discuss first
3. On the count of three, everyone shows their number they voted for (we used fingers rather than writing the # to save paper)
4. Order your top items according to what people prefer

Get Chatting:
1. Set the timer to 5 minutes and get chatting
2. When the time goes off, everyone gives a thumbs indication whether they would like to
continue on this topic – thumbs up
impartial to stopping or continuing – thumbs horizontal
stop this topic and pick the next – thumbs down

Often you’ll find the conversation can digress into another topic. It’s good as a facilitator to keep an eye on this and ask the ‘digressor’ to pop down the topic for the next backlog prioritisation.

Want more information on Lean Coffee – visit the founders site for more instructions on Lean Coffee Format.

Lean Coffee - Introducing Agile to your company

About Lean Agile Coaching Presentation

Join Agile coach Stephanie Bysouth in a conversation about Agile Coaching.What is it? Why does it help? Chris Collins also joins Stephanie to talk about what it’s like to be coached.

An Agile Coaches journey often starts long before one claims the title. Lean Agile Coaches come from a variety of backgrounds; including but not limited to, senior developers, architects, project managers, business analysts, designers, operations. Essentially Lean Agile Coaches come from many places. What start’s to set them apart is that they normally become a team leader, a team mentor as well as a master of lean agile skills.

Lean Agile Coaches will work through a sequence of stages with new teams. The first task for coaches is to observe and learn about the space the are moving into. It’s important to understand the territory, challenges, and natural flow of their current systems before taking a company, team or even managers on an organisational change.
This presentation delves into the why agile coaching, what agile coaches do, and show real profitable examples of how a coach can benefit a team, and companies bottom line.

Lean Agile Coaching Introduction Presentation

Agile Business Analysts Melbourne Meetup Agile Coach Introduction Presentation

Kaizen Camp Melbourne 2013 – Discussing the future of work – Kaikaku

Kaizen Camp™ Melbourne 2013 is an unconference that focuses on shared learning and peer teaching to build valuable discussions and insight from Lean principles, lean practices, agile values, agile principles, agile methodologies, systems thinking practices, problem solving, business leadership, theory of constraints and of course lean manufacturing.

In this Kaizen Camp Melbourne blog seriesI’ve captured a few of the Lean Coffee sessions in my visually creative note taking style for you. My learning style is to capture insights, draw the story that’s playing out in front of me, and sometimes I just doodle while discussing because it actually helps me to remember and actively process the information.
Kaikaku – radical change in limited time of a production system
The Kaikaku session was one of the most fascinating because there was quite a lot of debate around when is it OK to create’Kaikaku’ also known as ‘Kaizen blitz’. That is, when is it ok for change agents to create disruption that forces dramatic change in a work place? The consensus seemed to be when the result of the disruption is beneficial. If it’s not a good outcome than it’s just another ‘unnecessary forced and poorly thought out change management program’.

This is all in contrast to the majority of conversations about Kaizen – incremental change that creates benefits sequentially step by step. Jim Benson – author of the book Personal Kanban – joined the conversation and gave a good example of searching for benefit to know when and what a good radical change is…’On a recent lean hospital kanban engagement with hospital clients the team were looking to understand why there are so many ‘deadly bug’ infections – staph – continuously being spread throughout the wards regardless of recent protective measures. (the protective measures were doctors wearing badges that said “ask me if i’ve washed my hands today?” – I kid you not!!)
The lean team discovered that the orderlies NEVER got infected unlike the majority of nurses and doctors, so they asked the orderlies ‘why don’t you get infected’? The orderlies said they only ever served the infected patients last.

Yes, that simple they served them last so as not to spread the infection back to other patients and that way they could essentially unwrap themselves from their protective gear and eliminate the gear; therefore, effectively eliminating any possibility to spread the infection to other patients.

Brilliant and so simple!!! I know, I laughed too at the obviousness of it. None the less the point of Jim Bensons story was when you are looking for ‘what to change’ look at who / what is successful or the abnormal in the world of normal and replicate it.

Having discussed all that this lean coffee group enjoyed hearing about the Vanto group who have created a successful business around ‘kaikaku’ and intentional kaizen blitz.

Kaikaku - radical change in limited time of a production system

Photo and stories from Kaizen Camp: Melbourne 2013 – discussing the future of work is available at

Effective Coaching Techniques

26th March in Melbourne i’ll be kicking off the Melbourne Agile Coaching meetup group that Chris Chan recently initiated. The Lean Agile session will be a sharing of my experiences and exercises to help other coaches improve their self awareness, coaching knowledge, and agile facilitation skills. The methodologies cross lean, agile, scrum and kanban.


For those who can’t make it I will be putting up pictures of the lessons covered shortly.


Coaching visuals are available online at  Effective Coaching Techniques with Stephanie Bysouth