I previously wrote about an attempt to run a distributed Lean Coffee retrospective using Google Hangouts and a Sticky note app by Symphonical. Although the initial attempt worked well, subsequent retrospectives suffered from the ten person limit of Hangouts and various network issues. I still wanted to experiment so when the chance to work with fellow Agilistas at ICF to host an Agile Q&A, I decided to take another shot.
Lean Coffee is really for intimate gatherings
The Q&A session was more inspired by Lean Coffee than an attempt to scale it. We wanted questions to come from the audience and to be voted on. The eight minute per question seemed to be as good a starting point for time boxing the discussion. The challenge came from needing to support questions from over a hundred potential participants and to be able to run the session within a one hour limit. Based on the prior experience we decided to collect and vote on questions before the session so we could use the audience’s time wisely by not in fiddling with technology.