Conducting An After Action Review

By Tim Williams

By Tim Williams

The U.S. Army has a policy of doing After Action Reviews (AAR), which take place after every training event. The Army has a saying they never want to build the same bridge twice. Professional knowledge firms should adopt that same practice at the end of every major assignment or client relationship. This is a particularly useful practice if your firm has a Chief Value Officer or Value Council.

Here are the key questions in an After Action Review:

  1. Did we equal or exceed the client’s expectations?
  2. Did we add value with this assignment?
  3. How could we have added more value?
  4. Did we capture value?
  5. What were the business results and performance against key metrics?
  6. How could we have enhanced our client’s perception of value?
  7. How would you rate our client’s price sensitivity before and after this assignment?
  8. Did we have the right team on this assignment?
  9. How high were the costs to serve?
  10. Did we seek client input and feedback?
  11. Did we communicate our accomplishments to the client?
  12. In the course of the assignment did we identify future opportunities?
  13. Did we stay within time and budget parameters?
  14. Could we have captured more value through higher price?
  15. Did we leave money on the table?
  16. Can we recommend “mutually beneficial” efficiencies?
  17. If we were doing this type of assignment again how would we do it?
  18. What are the implications for the way we design and deliver our services?
  19. Should we communicate the lessons on this assignment to our colleagues?
  20. Did this assignment enhance our relationship with this client?
  21. How has this assignment advanced us?
  22. What could we do better next time?
  23. Could we do a client survey to learn more?