After we do something new, our family and friends ask … “well, how did it go?”
After we finish a big project, our colleagues ask … “well, how did it go?”
After we navigate through a global pandemic, our stakeholders ask … “well, how did it go?”
Asking and answering ‘how things went’ has been around as long as there have been parents, friends, colleagues and bosses.
But sometimes, more detail is needed.
Consider how other leaders approach this need for more information. Three key assumptions held by all world-class organizations are:
- There are always strengths to sustain or improve
- There are always weaknesses to reduce or eliminate
- There are repeatable processes useful to evaluate this data
Specifically, the steps these world-class organizations take to stay world-class involve a systematic review and report of a prior action called an After Action Review, or AAR.
Same intent as “well, how did it go?” but super-charged.
- AARs are for when things go right
- AARs are for when things go wrong, unwelcome or unplanned
- AARs are for when something big happens
Going forward, think of an After Action Review as less of a product or destination and more of a repeatable process.