The final question of an “after action review” is “what can we learn from this?”
Here’s the concept:
If we don’t get what we expect and dig deep on “why” that is so, learning results.
Learning generates more ideas. Ideas are raw material for trying new methods, new technology, new methods of teamwork.
Every tweak of our activity can make us more effective. If we tweak regularly, the impact of those tweaks accumulate. The net impact over time has a way of significantly improving productivity and effectiveness.
So, here’s the bottom line:
Frequent, consistent “after action reviews” should foster effectiveness. They work best when we are diligent about answering all four questions. It is particularly effective when we note what we learn, come up with an action plan to improve and put it to the test.