Last December, I hosted a Lean Coffee roundtable session as part of my Festive Tech Calendar 2023 submission. This brought together well known and up-and-coming community members around a virtual table to discuss all things Microsoft Azure, in a way that ensures everyone got a chance to speak, and bring forward topics of their choosing.

Based on some of the fantastic feedback I received, I've decided to set this up as a regular thing, and open up the speaking slots to anyone willing to join me.

Therefore, without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to my new community initiative: Azure Lean Coffee!

Introducing Azure Lean Coffee!

Azure Lean Coffee will run as a monthly live-stream on a dedicated YouTube channel, which you can find here.

I'll be joined by co-host Rukaya Ogazi-Khan, and each month we'll bring in a plethora of special gusts to join us to talk all things Azure.

Each event will be live-streamed and recorded for later playback on YouTube.


Why?

Great question! Why do this?

For starters, getting a group of well known and up-and-coming Azure community members round a (virtual) table to talk tech is in itself fairly awesome! This, plus the fact that as a group we dynamically create the agenda, makes the format fairly unique. Everyone gets a chance to talk, and more often than not, on topics they didn't add themselves. This adds variety, and more often than not, humour!


What is Lean Coffee?

Lean Coffee is a meeting facilitation technique that allows participants to create and vote on an agenda based on their interests and needs. It is a structured, but agenda-less way of having productive and engaging conversations.

To run an online Lean Coffee session, I set up a Kanban board that has three columns: To Discuss, Discussing, and Discussed.

In advance of the meeting, and again at the start, I invite my guests to add their discussion points to the 'To Discuss' column of the board. When everyone is ready, I hold a voting round, where people can vote on all the topics within the 'To Discuss' column, which I then rank by popularity.

The topics are then discussion according to their ranking, starting with the most popular. The 'Discussing' column contains the topic that is currently being discussed, with a timer to roughly limit the duration.

The 'Discussed' column contains the topics that have been discussed, along with any action items or key takeaways.

Here's the board from the Festive Tech Calendar session:

I used a website called Easy Retro to host the board and share it with my guests.

As a group, we won't always have time to cover every single topic on the 'To Discuss' column, but at the very least, the most popular topics are discussed first.

If all of that is too much to read, or hard to understand, watch Episode 1 on YouTube to get a better feel for it:


Get Involved

If you'd like to join as a speaker (and it's open to anyone), please complete the form below:

CALL FOR SPEAKERS FORM

If you'd like to view the events in real-time or watch the recordings at a later date, please subscribe to the YouTube channel.


If you have any questions please reach on to me on Twitter (X) and like I said before, anyone is welcome to get involved. Use the form below to register an interest:

CALL FOR SPEAKERS FORM

Thanks!


Please note that the name Lean Coffee is a trademark of Modus Cooperandi.

Azure Lean Coffee fully respects this trademark. Azure Lean Coffee is named according to the Lean Coffee meeting facilitation technique as described in leancoffee.org.