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How To Conduct An After Action Review?

How To Conduct An After Action Review
How to conduct an AAR

  1. Communicate the review to your team.
  2. Explain what you expected to happen.
  3. Discuss what actually happened.
  4. Outline what went well and explain why.
  5. Explain what failed and why.
  6. Share your conclusion and learning materials.

What are the 5 questions of the after action review?

Beginning—The AAR will seek to answer five key questions: 1) what was supposed to happen, 2) what was the reality, 3) what went well, 4) what did not go well, and 5) what should be changed for next time.

What is the difference between debrief and after action review?

An after action review (AAR) is a structured review or debrief for analyzing an event or project in the context of:

What happenedWhy it happenedHow it can be done better in the future

As you might expect, the idea originated with the U.S. Army after collective training exercises. Over time, it evolved from primarily military uses to business uses as a way to foster project development, best practices, and team accountability. There are some semantics to understand when considering the after action review, however.

  1. An after action review is different from a debrief because AARs begin with clear comparisons of actual vs.
  2. Intended results, which debriefs typically do not do.
  3. An after action review is also different from a post-mortem because the AAR’s focus is on participant actions.
  4. The learning from the review – the “how” section in the bullets above – is carried forward by the participants, whereas in conventional post-mortems it’s carried forward by the leader of the team.
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Also, commonly a post-mortem occurs a significant amount of time after the project was completed, and the observations of participants have dulled with time. After action review occurs closer to the events of the work actually happening – or even within the thick of the project – and thus the observations are live and current, not from three weeks ago.

What are the objectives of an after action review?

An After-Action Review (AAR) is a method for extracting lessons from one action, event, or project, and applying the lessons learned to others. It enables a team to analyze for themselves what happened, why it happened, and how to use learnings to sustain strengths and improve weaknesses.

What are the three major components after action reports should include?

After-Action Reporting

The team leader should compile the TERT Member Deployment Reviews and complete an after action report to summarize the deployment and to identify any areas of potential improvement. The format, type, and composition of after action reports may vary considerably. If the team leader is without a specific guideline or template, the following example may be used to facilitate the process. After action reports should include three major components: Deployment Description, Deployment Reports, and Opportunities for Improvement. Go to the next slide to learn more about each component.


What is the hot wash after action review?

An After-Action Review (frequently called a Hot Wash) is NOT intended to critique, grade success, or failure. Rather, it identifies weaknesses that need improvement and strengths that might be sustained.

What is better evaluation after action review?

The after action review (AAR) is a simple method for facilitating an assessment of organisational performance by bringing together a team to discuss a task, event, activity or project in an open and honest fashion. Organisational learning requires continuous assessment of organisational performance, looking at successes and failures, ensuring that learning takes place to support continuous improvement.

  • The systematic application of properly conducted AARs across an organisation can help drive organisational change.
  • As well as turning unconscious learning into tacit, it helps to build trust among team members and to overcome the fear of mistakes.
  • When applied correctly, AARs can become a key aspect of the internal system of learning and motivation.

There are many different ways to conduct AARs. The simplicity at the heart of the tool means there is much potential to experiment with the process and find the right ways that will work best with the group and the work item under review. The whole process should be kept as simple and as easy to remember as possible.

What is one of the most important values of an After Action Review?

What is one of the most important values of an After-Action Review(AAR)? The ability to replay in light of the know outcome the different thought processes that went into making strategic and tactical decisions.

What should an after action report include?

All discussion-based and operations-based exercises result in the development of an AAR. The AAR is the document that summarizes key information related to evaluation. The Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) has defined a standard format for the development of an AAR.

  1. By using this format, jurisdictions ensure that the style and the level of detail in their AAR is consistent with other jurisdictions.
  2. Consistency across jurisdictions allows the nation-wide emergency preparedness community to gain a broad view of capabilities.
  3. The length, format, and development timeframe of the AAR depend on the exercise type and scope.

These parameters should be determined by the exercise planning team based on the expectations of elected and appointed officials as they develop the evaluation requirements in the design and development process. The main focus of the AAR is the analysis of core capabilities.

  • Generally, AARs also include basic exercise information, such as the exercise name, type of exercise, dates, location, participating organizations, mission area(s), specific threat or hazard, a brief scenario description, and the name of the exercise sponsor and POC.
  • The AAR should include an overview of performance related to each exercise objective and associated core capabilities, while highlighting strengths and areas for improvement.

Therefore, evaluators should review their evaluation notes and documentation to identify the strengths and areas for improvement relevant to the participating organizations’ ability to meet exercise objectives and demonstrate core capabilities.