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04 After-Action Reporting

Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. – George Bernard Shaw

Exercises, planned events, and unplanned incidents always generate lessons learned, and without constant evaluation and rigorous follow-through, important opportunities for improvement and sustainment of successes are lost. Our team is skilled in identifying the root cause of complex situations, capturing and tracking the progress of improvement items, and identifying best practices emerging from complicated incidents. The After-Action Report/Improvement Plan (AAR/IP) is a critical post-exercise document developed in collaboration with the exercise control and evaluation staff, and exercise stakeholders. It serves as a historical record of strengths and areas for improvement and provides findings and recommendations for enhancements categorized under planning, organization, equipment, training and exercises (POETE). The Improvement Plan converts areas for improvement from the exercise into a plan of action with measurable steps that result in improved response capabilities. It is developed by the stakeholders and specifically details the actions that are required to address each area for improvement identified in the AAR. It further details who will be responsible for completing the action, and when the stated action will be completed.

Through years of experience our team has developed a thoughtful and methodical approach to conducting After-Action Reviews and subsequently building Improvement Plans. Throughout the process our team focuses on building an actionable plan that ensures measurable, sustainable improvement. Most after-action processes fall apart when Improvement Planning items are not built on SMART goals, are not given ownership, and are not part of the comprehensive POETE cycle – and our team works to ensure that our efforts address these items wholistically.

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