After-Action Report Makes Round Two Better

When you finish a project do you celebrate? Maybe you simply check it off your long list and move on to the next project.

The next time you feel inclined to do that, pause for a minute and reflect on how the project or event was a success. Then think about areas where you might improve, ratcheting up your plan.

I just finished a big event and I’m already working on three other projects that didn’t get as much attention as they should have while I was completing the final items for the event. It would be easy to simply put a checkmark beside the event and move on to the next three projects.

Instead, I’ve scheduled a debrief sessions with all who were involved with it, no matter how small the role played. We’ll review our project plan and consider key areas. Were our goals met? Did it address our strategic needs?

One thing there won’t be is finger pointing. This isn’t about saying who did or did not do a good job. This is about improving for the next time.

The extra hour it will take to debrief and create what I call an After-Action Report means that the next event will be even better.

What do you think? Is it worth to take the extra time to review?