Getting the Most out of Mistakes: After Action Reviews

Have you ever been involved in a multi-departmental project that did not go as planned? In the days following, did you feel the frustration of fingers pointing? Did you also feel that this was a great learning experience except that there was no way to synthesize the lessons learned?

After Action Review look to solve this!

After Action Reviews were first introduced by the US army as a way to evaluate and learn from actions (successful or unsuccessful) to improve future actions. Since then, this methodology has found a home in many organizations as a way to integrate view of multiple stakeholders and improve organizational processes:

http://executiveeducation.wharton.upenn.edu/thought-leadership/wharton-at-work/2012/04/after-action-reviews

There area many different ways to perform an After Action Review. Some organizations develop their own structures, forms and paper work to guide users how to hold a review.

If you are new to this process and would like a few guiding principles, the following is a great article that offers a start:

http://betterevaluation.org/en/evaluation-options/after_action_review

This is a methodology I am looking to implement at work. In the past few years, we’ve had successful rollouts and implementations and some less successful. This can offer us a way to examine our successes to optimize this going forward.

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