Remote Lean Coffee Retro with Trello


I’ve just tried this with my team and found it worked a treat.

We have a number of people working remotely for various reasons, I decided to try a remote LEAN Coffee style retro. We fired up Trello and Go To Meeting and created 4 columns:

  • Discussion
  • In Progress
  • Done
  • Actions

The initial blog that gave me the idea was We spent 5-10 minutes adding items to the board and then each team member was given 3 points to spend on any items. I kept track of points and after all votes reordered the board according to the values assigned.

We chatted through each point for 5-10 minutes and ended the retro when we hit our time limit. Actions arising out of the discussions were immediately recorded in the actions panel. I’ve saved the board to track the actions and the unspoken items. We’ll follow up later.

I love how this worked. Conversations were natural and solutions positive. I am really grateful for the learning from it. So, this is definitely a keeper.

I’m curious about how others run the Lean Coffee format remotely. How did you find the experience?



I’ve used the same basic method, trello + zoom + timer

I’ve heard of a few lean coffee specific tools, built in timers, etc.

I’ve taken this one for a test flight, works well:

Free, nice UI.


@bradstokes I’ve used Scatterspoke as a board for remote Lean Coffee along with some random timer tool. It worked well for the two different teams I used it with in the past. Andy’s suggestion on the site is a good one as well. I think there are a lot of tools around out there to make this work overall though.

This got me thinking about my next retro and I’m thinking Lean Coffee is about due for one of my teams and they are half local, half remote so guess I’ll need to get this ready again!


I second Andy. I was actual surprised how many of my teams liked and actually requested to used the Once they use it they seem to really like it. Everyone gets to post a concern or topic and then prioritize and talk through the timebox.

Just ensure that everyone gets the invite a few days prior ,so they can register before the retro. Also it works better in Chrome.