Book Image

After Action Review: Continuous Improvement Made Easy

By : Artie Mahal
Book Image

After Action Review: Continuous Improvement Made Easy

By: Artie Mahal

Overview of this book

Even if we're not consciously aware of it, we're constantly seeking improvement. This continual quest for improvement begins when you start differentiating between "what was" and "what could be." Through this book, you’ll learn how to apply both informal and formal continuous improvement approaches to reflect upon and analyze your individual work or the work of your team. The book begins by covering the basic facilitation skills that you'll need to conduct an AAR. These skills include active listening, questioning, information gathering and analysis, managing group dynamics, and more. You'll dive deep into the AAR technique and explore all its aspects in detail including its value proposition and frameworks. As you progress through the book, you'll explore the informal and formal approaches to AAR and understand the situations where each can be used. By the end of the book, you’ll be able to apply this technique and its fundamentals to assess the improve the outcome of your project you undertake or a life event.
Table of Contents (8 chapters)


Identify and gain agreement on the topic for the After Action Review assessment. Describe what was planned, what actually occurred and then conduct a brainstorming exercise with the participants. Two approaches can be used for gathering information.

Individual reflection

Provide orientation to the participants in doing their individual assessment of what worked well and what can be done differently in the future. Furthermore, explain to them that after their individual assessment, a group brainstorming would be conducted to generate collective insights on the topic of lessons learned with an eye towards making recommendations for actions. The following template can be provided as pre-work or used in the real-time work session:

Group insights

Three formats are examples of what templates can be used by the facilitator. This depends on the facilitator’s preference, time allocated, and willingness of the participants.

Approach A:

  1. Frame the definition...