Lean Café at Kisumu County Hospital

IHPMR hosted a Lean Café for the Quality Improvement Team (QIT) on 31 March 2015. Adapted from Lean Coffee by Modus Cooperandi, Lean Café is an informal, but structured way to hold discussions that draws from the expertise and diversity around the table to build the best possible agenda and deepest possible conversation in every single meeting.  Typically, a Lean Café is held over a 1-1 ½ hour session.


How Lean Café Works

  • Participants gather around a table over a cup of coffee (currently we are doing this at Java because the coffee there is great).
  • A Lean Café Board is created with the following columns:


  •  Each participant get two post it notes on which they write a quality related topic they would like discussed.
  • Each participant is given an opportunity to introduce each of their topics in 1 or 2 sentences.  This way people know what to vote for.
  • Each participant gets two votes.  They can vote twice for the same thing or for two different topics by putting a colored round label on the topic they are interested in.
  • The votes are tallied.
  • All topics are first placed in the to be discussed column, in order of votes received, with the topic with the highest number of votes on top.
  • Topics discussed in order, starting with the one that received highest number votes. The first topic to be discussed is moved to the “Discussing” column.   Each topic is first allocated 8 minutes. After  the 8 minutes a roman vote is taken:
good  Topic not exhausted. Allow another 4 minutes of discussion
 not sure Not sure- Allow another 2 minutes of discussion
 done Done.  Can move to next topic
  • After a topic has been cleared, it is moved to the “Discussed” column. The topic that got the second highest number of votes is moved from the to be Discussed “column to the Discussing column for discussion as described above.
  • Topics are discussed until 15 minutes to the end of the agreed time.
  • A quick wrap around is done during which participants provide feedback about the meeting. Action points are also captured. The next Lean Café begins with a review of actions agreed at the last meeting

Images from the  KCH Lean Café – 31 March 2015

 voting discussion
Voting Discussion in progress 


What Participants said about the Lean Café