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After Action Review

  • Developed over 30 years ago in the US Army

  • Series of meetings: Reflect-Plan-Act

  • Start at the platoon level and work their way up the chain of command

  • Platoon leaders right after battle to compare stated intent with results achieved

  • Generate insight needed to plan next day action

  • Listen to what happened from the “other’s” perspective.


How is it different?

AAR practice

  • Learning happens throughout the project

  • Planned for any project core to business goals

  • The meeting is planned before the project or event

  • Meetings with smaller task-focused groups

  • Focuses on key issues relevant to going forward

  • Produces an action plan participants will implement

  • Focuses more on planning for future success


Typical retrospective

  • Learning happens at the end of project

  • Called for after failure or high stress

  • Meeting is planned after the project or event

  • One meeting with all participants in the room

  • Reviews the entire process

  • Produces a detailed report leading to recommendations

  • Focuses more on dissecting past performance

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