COVID-19 After-Action Reports

As governments move forward with a phased and measured reopening, After Action Reports (AAR) are needed to examine lessons learned thus far, best practices, and improvement items.  An AAR is particularly important as it will aim to further position jurisdictions to handle the increased number of cases that are expected due to the reopening, the potential for a resurgence in the Fall, and to substantiate funding requests for past and future actions.

Here are some things that you can do now to start building your AAR:

  • Commit to holding short AAR meetings throughout the response and recovery
  • Ask your team three key questions: What was expected to happen? What actually happened? What caused the difference?
  • Require that comments, insights, and lessons that are shared be tied to recommendations for future actions
  • Identify a team or position that would be responsible for every potential future action

(Source: HBRUPennHSToday, and Forbes)

The key is to keep collecting information while the information is still fresh in everyone’s minds. Other actions for you to consider, include:

  • Dedicate space on a whiteboard for staff to post sticky notes with lessons learned or recommendations as ideas come to them. This space is meant to fill up over time and help source new ideas, if time for AAR meetings are limited during the response.
  • Onboard a part-time volunteer or intern whose job is solely focused on information gathering (i.e. staff stories, data, and team memo collection) to support your after-action efforts post-response.
  • Seek and include feedback from the community and counterparts in other departments to see holistic view on how other experience your team’s efforts.

Did you know, costs for COVID-19 AAR development are eligible for reimbursement? CONSTANT is here to help. For more information about our services, please email [email protected] or call (424) 320-2580.

As we continue to manage this ongoing outbreak, please follow CONSTANT’s COVID-19 thread as well for more updates and how your organization can stay prepared.