Retrospectives and Action Boards

Retrospectives and Action Boards

Retrospectives and Action Boards

Retrospectives & Action Boards now in beta

We are thrilled to introduce the new Retrospective and Action boards. Now you can run retros and store actions from both Lean Coffee Table and Retrospectives in one place. Turn Retrospective output into Action Outcomes and see your team improve!

Join the Beta!

If you would like to join the Retro & Action Board beta please get in touch

Let’s take a look!

A new retro comes with three generic columns. However you don’t need to keep these columns you can rename them and add new ones or delete them if you wish. 


A Retro has 4 stages these are Create Topics, Vote on Topics, Discuss Topics and Review. We’ll be going into more details on these below.

Create Topics

After you have setup the columns you want, this is the first stage of your Retro. Get your team to come up with topics and populate them under the columns they fit under best. If you have similar topics you can merge these together. Want to keep your team on their toes? Set a timer for how long they have to create topics.

Vote on Topics

Now that you have created and merged similiar topics together. Its now time to vote on the topics you wish to discuss. Once again you can set a timer to keep your retro on scheduel.

Discuss Topics

Hitting the Discuss Topics tab at the top of your screen will automatically sort your topics by vote. Click on the Discuss button on the topic you wish to discuss and a dialogue box will appear for everyone to focus on that particular topic.

Set a timer to keep your team on track. Everyone can add Actions, Learnings and comments to the currently being discussed topic.  


Once you have finished discussing your topics you can click on the Review tab. This will list all of the actions and learnings that have been collected during your retrospective. 

Learnings and Actions can be exported as a CSV file. Actions can also be exported to our new Action Boards by simply selecting them and hitting the Export Actions button. If you have already linked an Action to an Action Board this link will appear on the action.

You can select an existing Action Board or you can create a new one.


Action Boards

Action Boards are just as flexible as Retrospective Boards. You can add and remove columns. Manually add actions or export actions to them from a Lean Coffee Table Board or a Retrospective board. Action Boards also enable you to assign actions and will provide a link back to the Retrospective or Lean Coffee Table board they were orginally created on. 

Retrospectives and Action Boards

Make Attendee a Facilitator

Make Attendee a Facilitator

Need someone else to facilitate?

What if I am on holiday and I need my colleague to facilitate my meeting?
By popular request, we have added the ability to make an attendee into a facilitator to allow them to facilitate or co-facilitate a meeting.

This feature is for “Invite Only” boards.


Let’s take a look!

After setting the board visibility to the above setting, you can change any invited attendee to a facilitator by clicking on the attendee.

Then click “Make Facilitator”

Note that the user will only be a facilitator in the current meeting. 

Retrospectives and Action Boards

Zoom Revamp!

Zoom Revamp!

We’ve given it a revamp

We are excited to announce the release of our revamped Zoom integration! The new design is not only more visually appealing but also much easier to navigate. With just a few clicks, you can start your meeting and collaborate with others in real-time. We believe this update will greatly enhance your experience on our platform and make it even easier for you to connect with others.

Just a reminder

When using our Zoom integration, copy the Zoom link and click “Set Conference Link”

Retrospectives and Action Boards

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.
Retrospectives and Action Boards

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…




Retrospectives and Action Boards

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.