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After Action Review (AAR)

Updated: Oct 3, 2022

After-Action Review (AAR) is a structured approach first introduced by the military and used to review combat missions once completed. Today, it’s being used in many organizations as a “quick and dirty” way of conducting a lesson learned. This method can be conducted either formally, recording the information, or informally, with a conversation.

Using the AAR, one responds to the following three questions:

· What went well or strengths of the occurrence?

· What did not go well or what weaknesses were exposed?

· What areas to improve if you were to repeat the event?

What’s great about the AAR method is that you can conduct it anywhere. You can decide to conduct it in a meeting, while leaving the meeting, or answering the three questions with a colleague, while walking back to the office. Some of the advantages of this method are:

· Everyone can do it

· Honest and Open discussion

· Focus on the results

· Brainstorm ways of sustaining what worked and to keep on doing it

· Develop recommendations for overcoming obstacles

The process of the AAR is simple. After an event has occurred, use the three questions to help brainstorm ideas of:

· What you want to continue doing because you saw it was effective in the event

· What you think could have been improved, you will make a mental note to change it for the next time

· Whatever was left out or missed, will be included in the future

By using this method, you will create a continuous improvement mindset. We hope you found this learning valuable to you. Subscribe for free so you do not miss upcoming articles.

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Let us know what you think with your comments….

Resource Reference: A Lean Six Sigma recipe: Improving a process in a matter of months, by Antonella Zompa (ISBN 978-1-7347123-0-8)

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