Talk:After Action Reviews
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- 1 Sheila Jagannathan, 2010/04/08
- 2 Christina Merl, 2010/04/08
- 3 Sheila Jagannathan, 2010/04/08
- 4 Nancy White, 2010/04/08
- 5 Tony Pryor, 2010/04/09
- 6 Manuel Flury, 2010/04/09
- 7 Christina Merl, 2010/04/09
- 8 Gauri Salokhe, 2010/04/09
- 9 Ana Cristina Guimaraes Matos, 2010/04/09
- 10 Geoff Parcell, 2010/04/09
Sheila Jagannathan, 2010/04/08
Looking for examples of after action reviews for learning events, such as conferences, workshops etc.
Can someone share examples and checklists if available?
Christina Merl, 2010/04/08
You mean ... like "feedback/evaluation forms"?
Sheila Jagannathan, 2010/04/08
Hi, thanks for your response. More to debrief a learning event and learn what went well and what did not and why.
Nancy White, 2010/04/08
KM4Dev also does an AAR after every one of our gatherings. On the KM4Dev wiki you can mine about for some of those artifacts!
You might check out this page on the KSToolkit: http://www.kstoolkit.org/After+Action+Review
Tony Pryor, 2010/04/09
Frankly I would not worry about a form.
Usually an AAR is something the presenters/organizers of an event do as an internal review, often just using flip charts, and is NOT the same thing as that one would use an evaluation form for. (However, for conferences or trainings I have sometimes added some participants at the end, or as a parallel effort. Sometimes the participant may see something that you yourself can't see).
In general, though, AARs are internal affairs. They can be structured in a variety of ways, but usually it's not much more than going over the conference/event/activity, and asking some variant of:
- What was meant to happen
- what did happen
- what was good
- what might need to be changed
- Next steps, etc.
I find that making it more complex is really adding a sense of false rigor to the effort; the key I think is keeping it informal but purposeful and making sure you have ALL of those involved in pulling event of -, no more, and no less. You are going to do something like this again and you want to do it better. It's not for casting blame; as the Army guys say (who use this heavily) no need to blame anyone; the odds are you already GOT yelled at by someone above you if anything went wrong. This is only internal, designed to make operational corrections while things are fresh.
Sometimes you might want to break the event up into parts (eg., the exhibitions, the logistics, the content, the breakout groups, etc); it just depends on the complexity. The tool is clearly at its best though with smaller events or actions that you will repeat, and if the facilitator knows enough about the topic or the event so they are able to ID things which the participants may be missing, but not SO close to the event (the team leader, etc.) where people feel the outcome is being "cooked".
And lastly, in doing one recently at the State Department on an annual report, it occurred to us that they need to organize a second meeting the following year, essentially a PAR (Pre-Action Review, if there is such a thing) where the results of the AAR from the last cycle are read again, the recommendations reconsidered and THEN ACTED ON!! All of the participants noted that they have been doing AARs rigorously over the years but they have NOT been as good about actually putting into practice the recommended changes when the time for the next event came around. This became obvious when they realized last year that the comments raised in the AAR flagged a number of issues which were never addressed from the previous AAR and then just resurfaced. This is particularly true if there are staff changes. In fact, it was suggested trying to invite back to the PAR some of the "veterans" from the last cycle's AAR, to make sure the lessons are fully reviewed and understood. It may be that what happened last time won't this time, due to external factors, but why do an AAR without actually using the findings?
Manuel Flury, 2010/04/09
Check as well After Action Review (AAR) on Dare To Share
SDC Knowledge and Learning Processes Division, Switzerland.
Christina Merl, 2010/04/09
What we use (it is in German, so I'll try to sum up..) is similar to
- Where you happy with the content
- Where you happy with how things were presented and dealt with
- What was good
- What did you miss
- What should be added/changed
- Was the duration good, should it be shorter/longer...
- What's your team experience Number of participants
Then there is always a question catalogue on the presenters Where they professional Was learning material distributed If so, is it helpful Use of media Learning environment -- good and inspiring or not
And then there is a section where participants can make any other suggestions/comments...
It's more something where participants reflect and make their comments on what can be improved and on what they learned.. well.. hope that's useful
Gauri Salokhe, 2010/04/09
The organizing team of Share Fair 2009 (www.sharefair.net) did an after action review few weeks after the event. The results are at: http://sharefair2009.blogspot.com/search/label/after%20action%20review. My colleague has also blogged about the same experience at:
Few other examples of AARs done after learning events are at:
Of course, Nancy already point out to this (http://www.kstoolkit.org/After+Action+Review) - a great source of information. Please feel free to contribute to it as well!
Ana Cristina Guimaraes Matos, 2010/04/09
My colleague Ben Kumpf and I shared the attached review with the KM4Dev group some time ago. It is our reflection on a session that wasn't very positive, but nevertheless we learned a lot from the experience.
Evaluation Specialist, United Nations Volunteers, Germany.
Geoff Parcell, 2010/04/09
The template we used.
Hope it helps