Anonymous Topics

Anonymous Topics

Anonymous Topics

You’ve asked and we delivered!

Lean Coffee Table now supports Anonymous Topics. It’s been a popular request to create an environment people feel comfortable and confident in contributing to Lean Coffee Table sessions on sensitives subjects.

How is it Anonymous?

When a Lean Coffee Table board is set to Permanently hide the author, any topics created on that board by an attendee will be anonymous. Behind the scenes we generate a random id for the user (also known as a GUID) which is only used on this board. Any topic the user creates then uses this id. When the facilitator ends the Lean Coffee Table session, we then delete any association with the attendees. This means after the session is ended, attendees will then no longer be able to edit topics they had previously created.  

What is Anonymous?

Only topic authors are hidden. Other items such as Actions, Learnings and Comments recorded during the session, will still reveal the user’s chosen name. 

How it works

  1. Setup a new Lean Coffee Table board as you usually would, and scroll down to the section Choose Anonymity Level Of The Topic Author.
  2. Select the option Permanently hide the authors.
  3. Save and Close to begin your session.

Please note:

  1. Only the topic is anonymous comments, actions and learnings will still reveal the authors names. 
  2. Once you have set a board to have anonymous topics this cannot be undone and any new meetings off the same board will continue to be anonymous.
Anonymous Topics

Case Study – Stimulating Conversations In Person

Case Study – Stimulating Conversations In Person

Lean Coffee Table Takes Flight 



Lean Coffee Table is an online tool for organised and effective collaboration, but that doesn’t mean it is restricted to only being collaborative online. We met with Tom Fitzpatrick, Director of Consultant Relations from Extreme Networks, who used the tool at the company’s annual in-person user conference, to drive engaging and insightful discussions.

Extreme Networks is global leader in networking.  Each year, the company hosts a user conference to bring the broader community together to learn more about the company’s business strategy, products, and solutions.

A key element of the conference is to gather customers into different ‘Birds of a Feather’ sessions with their industry peers, where they talk through challenges and solutions. These sessions are highly interactive and require someone to capture ideas in the discussion and share to a common framework to encourage conversation and engagement. In previous years, this session was facilitated with sticky notes, whiteboards, and flip charts, which as you can imagine, came with constraints.


Case Study

When Fitzpatrick was given the task of organising this year’s sessions, he wanted to lean into something more progressive and automated to simplify the process of planning and execution.  After a recommendation from a customer, Fitzpatrick piloted Lean Coffee Table to take the place of the manually intensive process of stacking messy sticky notes and charts.

85 people attended Extreme’s Birds of a Feather sessions at CONNECT. Six different rooms were set up, where birds flocked according to their interest, ranging from State and Local Government, Higher education to Sports, Venues and Hospitality.

Attendees scanned a QR code at the doors and joined their chosen board through their mobile phone. They then added topics or questions to the board. After 15 minutes, participants voted on which topics they would like to discuss and then put their personal devices away. This allowed the participants to focus on the facilitator’s screen and one another for the time-boxed discussions. Once the timer ended, instead of the thumbs-up/down feature, the group raised their hands if they wanted to continue discussing the topic (alternatively, mobile devices could have been used again here to collect the votes). Meanwhile a ‘scribe’ captured all the attendees’ comments and actions on the shared board. The sessions ran smoothly, and after they had finished the Summary PDF was sent to all attendees.


Benefits of Lean Coffee Table  

1. The conversation is kept relevant and focused, through the ‘crowd-sourced’ agenda and the time-boxed conversations. This means the time spent discussing topics is aligned to the collective interest of the group.

2. Discussions can be paused and picked up again later, which meant for Extreme Networks, the Birds of a Feather sessions could easily be interwoven into the two-day conference in the future, rather than limiting to one session. This would be a lot trickier to organise when collecting physical sticky notes from each room and having to remember their placement for the next day.

3. The output from the sessions is actionable and instant. Extreme’s product teams could now easily review the topics and comments and compile the data from all 6 sessions to drive future conversations and actions.

Now that people are talking, Fitzpatrick is curious to see how LCT might be incorporated into continued outreach to customers and resellers online, either in the format of more frequent ‘Birds of a Feather’ sessions or to support the roll-out of new features or services.



 As teams and communities transition back to the office and in-person events, they should lean into using digital solutions to facilitate in-person meetings.  We’ve all acquired new tools designed to drive collaboration in remote environments and there’s tremendous opportunity to use those tools in new ways.

Lean Coffee Table is also continually evolving and thanks to Tom’s case study, we are looking to add the ability to generate board QR codes within the application. This will allow guests fast and easy access to the board, particularly in-person sessions/ events. Watch out for this new feature coming soon…




Anonymous Topics

Raise Hand to Speak

Raise Hand to Speak

Let me see those hands!

Lean Coffee sessions are often being run for 20 or more people, which can sometimes be difficult to facilitate or to notice when someone would like to say something, especially when video cameras are not enabled. This feature allows attendees to indicate when they would like to speak and enables the facilitator to easily monitor and manage the speaker queue.

Users have begun to use similar functionality in Zoom and Teams and have found it to be a valuable tool to enable everyone to be heard.

How it works

  1. The Facilitator can turn on the ‘Hands up to speak’ functionality.
  2. Users will then see a hand appear above the topic that is currently being discussed.
  3. When a User clicks on the hand, their name is added at the bottom of the speaker queue panel on the right-hand side.
  4. The Facilitator can then select a person from the ‘Speaker queue’ to give the next person the ‘microphone’.
  5. The User can remove themselves from the queue (put down their hand) by clicking on the hand icon again.
  6. The Facilitator can also remove a person from the queue or choose to clear the queue completely.
  7. The queue is cleared automatically when the next topic is moved into the ‘Discussing’ column.  


Anonymous Topics

Threaded Comments

Threaded Comments

Threaded Comments

No more cluttered and confusing conversation threads. You can now easily track conversations and reply to specific comments as they happen for increased collaboration and improved feedback.  Adding a threaded comment creates a conversation ‘branch’, which enables clearer, cleaner discussions.

How it works

Click on the ‘reply’ icon within the comments box to respond to a comment. 

Threaded comments can still be edited and deleted by the comment author or the facilitator. When a comment is deleted, you will still be able to read any associated threaded comments, but the ‘parent’ comment will no longer be visible.  

Track and Share

Comment threads will be recorded within the downloadable Meeting Summary .pdf, along with the recorded topics, actions and learnings to share after the meeting.  

Anonymous Topics

Hide Author in Lean Coffee Summaries

Hide Author in Lean Coffee Summaries

Hide Author in Lean Coffee Summaries

We have finally got around to one of the most requested fixes. Previously whilst the facilitator could hide the topic author on the board, this anonymity did not continue through to the summary PDF.

Now, when you create the summary at the end of your Lean Coffee meeting, you can choose to make it confidential.

In addition to ensuring votes aren’t influenced by topic authors, this new feature helps create a safe space for conversations, increasing engagement and participation from all attendees.

How it works

When the Facilitator ends a meeting, they will now see the option to ‘Show Topic Authors’ or hide them within the summary PDF.

Still brewing

It is still possible for the facilitator to see who has written the topics, and to reveal this with the ‘Show Authors’ option if they choose to.

We plan to make the board ‘permanently anonymous’ from the moment the board is created. This requires additional work so that the author is not stored in the database. We hope to announce this functionality soon.

Hack my coffee

In the meantime, if anonymity is very important to you, then please use the ‘Guest’ link and ask people to enter a fake name. Whilst this may not be ideal, it will mean that all topics and comments are not traceable to an individual.

Anonymous Topics

Release Notes

Release Notes

Release Notes for 1.1.768

25 October, 2021

New Features
  • We have made some updates to the Zoom conference integration allowing users a better experience when using integrated video from the board. Unnecessary buttons have been removed so that the video link is less cluttered and speakers are less distracted as the speaker view no longer appears in a separate window.

Release Notes for 1.1.759

30 September, 2021

New Features
  • Users may reference an attendee on the board by using the @ feature in comments, actions and learnings. Entering ‘@’ followed by the first letter of a name into the text box will present a list of attendees for selection. All attendees invited to the board may be referenced regardless of their online status.
  • Comments added during the discussion can be ‘liked’ by attendees. Each comment now has a clickable heart and the number of likes will be displayed within the comment box and will be captured on the session summary.
Bug fixes
  • The subdomain prefix “www.” is now automatically added to the Lean Coffee Table URL. This has solved the issue of errors during sign in with Microsoft, Slack and Google.

    Release Notes for 1.1.743

    12th February, 2021

    New Features
    • Session summaries can now accommodate languages with characters other than the English Roman alphabet. LCT boards using Cyrillic, Arabic, Greek, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Georgian and Armenian alphabets will now render correctly in the summary.
    Bug fixes
    • The email sent inviting an attendee to a board has been optimised for scenarios where images are blocked in the message.
    • Hyperlinks pasted into topics or comments will display as plain text and not in HTML and the ampersand will render correctly in the Session summary
    • A fix has been implemented to allow facilitators to switch between guest access and a closed access board. 

    Release Notes for 1.1.739

    3rd February, 2021

    New Features
    • When a meeting is ended, facilitators now have the option to create a follow-on meeting which includes the attendees and topics transferred from the completed meeting. All topics or just the undiscussed topics can be transferred to the new board and the previous board is archived for reference. For full details, please refer to
    Bug fixes
    • Zoom links which include a password now work seamlessly with the integrated Zoom conferencing functionality. There is now no need to edit your conference link to remove the password.

    Release Notes for 1.1.730

    14th October, 2020

    Bug fixes
    • Dark mode is now fixed and may be toggled on/off as desired.
    • Code has been amended to prevent stray HTML showing in the Session summary and exported Actions/Learnings.

    Release Notes for 1.1.719

    16th September, 2020

    New Features
    • We have improved the merge topic functionality. Now facilitators can unmerge topic cards or add additional topic cards to an already merged card. Votes from the child cards will be grouped into the merged parent but will remain with the child if unmerged.
    • Links added within the comment field are now parsed and will open in a new tab.
    Bug Fixes
    • Guest will not see the ‘how to’ welcome tour each time they visit a board. It will be shown once and if it is watched or dismissed, will not be shown on subsequent visits.

    Release Notes for 1.1.715

    8th September, 2020

    New Features
    • Topic card votes may now be hidden from all participants to prevent undue influence during the voting phase. The Facilitator can toggle show or hide votes in the Facilitator controls.
    • Facilitators are now warned that switching off ‘Show Topic Author’ is intended to allow participants to vote and discuss topics without being influenced by the identity of the topic author. The feature is not for anonymity – Topic authors will be shown in the session summary.

    Release Notes for 1.1.704

    25th June, 2020

    New Features
    • Topic card comments can now be edited and deleted from within the Discussing column
    • Dark Mode is available for everyone now. It can be accessed from the left menu
    • Dedicated menus to improve the experience for Guests
    • End Meeting button is now always visible to the Facilitator once the meeting has started
    • Link to our Security Policy PDF has been added to the footer
    Bug Fixes
    • SVG assets were not always displaying on Chrome – fixed
    • Adding comments to topics on mobile had stopped working – fixed
    • IntroJS guide has been disabled for mobile
    • Scrollbars were appearing on Firefox when Dark Mode was active – these have been removed

    Release Notes for 1.1.693

    16th June, 2020

    Bug Fixes
    • Removed notification that appeared when trying to edit someone else’s topic card. This has been replaced with clearly defined editable and non-editable fields.
    • End Meeting button Lean Coffee meetings had stopped working
    • Additional text from Add Topic button removed
    • Topic cards going underneath columns when dragged form the Discussed column
    • Additional spacing removed from mobile layouts
    • Topic card author name re-alignment
    • Logo position fixed for iPad

    Release Notes for 1.1.688

    16th June, 2020

    New Features
    • ZOOM performance has been improved with an API update
    • Comments are now visible in the Discussed and To Discuss columns
    • End Meeting button relocated to the top of the Discussed column for better visibility
    • You can now discuss topics for longer with additional time lengths available to select from
    • IntroJS style guides for Lean Coffee meetings, have been added for Facilitators and Attendees
    • The invite attendees popup has been made easier to use
    Bug Fixes
    • Dark Mode colour updates
    • Reduced topic card vertical heights
    • The IntroJS onscreen help guide has had text updates and has also been restyled
    • Facilitators are unable to scroll the control panel on Firefox
    • The radio buttons on the Lean Coffee meeting summary popup had stopped working

    Release Notes for 1.1.668

    9th June, 2020

    New Features
    • Dark Mode option is now available
    Bug Fixes
    • Topic author names have been made darker
    • Vote button not appearing for some people in a particular set of circumstances

    Release Notes for 1.1.665

    8th June, 2020

    New Features
    • Lean Coffee Meeting Summary PDFs now display content clearer
    • IntroJS style guides for Lean Coffee meetings is available for some Users in Beta
    Bug Fixes
    • SignalR occasionally dropping connection for some users
    • Vote button not appearing for some people in a particular set of circumstances
    We still have a long backlog of requested features and ideas to improve Lean Coffee, which we will deliver in the coming weeks. Please contact us with any feedback.