Crisis Management After Action Reviews Types

Crisis Management (Contingency Planning)
Knowledge Center


Michael Norris
Director, United States

Crisis Management After Action Reviews Types

In a world that is constantly moving on from one crisis to another, organizations should assess their responses to said crises to determine if their actions taken were the optimal strategies, tactics, tasks with the appropriate timing for the objectives that the crises required. No matter how successful a business' response to a crisis, it's leaders must understand that they can always do better.
Reviewing responder perceptions along with response records can assist in the institution's resiliency, recovery, and sustainability as well as support organizational learning. So called "After Action Reviews" (AAR) allow leaders to identify and prioritize response criteria for improvement. AAR can utilize two kinds of assessments one concurrent review during the crisis and one retrospective review of the incident management process as a whole:
  1. The Concurrent After Action Review
    A prolonged crisis requires that incident managers set operational periods; sometimes as short as 12-24 hours in length. The concurrent review evaluates current goals, objectives, strategy, tactics, and tasks to assure that the management of the crisis is on track. At this point, in-flight adjustments may allow for making real-time improvements in the response.
  2. The Retrospective After Action Review
    After the (final) resolution of the crisis, all involved actors should participate in the retrospective review. An objective and blame-free processing of what went right and those things that can be improved is critical to assure that an optimal cataloging of organizational lessons-learned is assembled to assure the next response is more effective, efficient, and reliable than the one just experienced.
    The post-incident assessment should evaluate the actions of the incident management team's command staff, planning staff, logistics staff, operational staff, and finance & administrative staff. Areas to be considered are decision-making, communications, pre-crisis mutual aid agreements, use of an incident management system, operational risk management, conflict resolution, public and stakeholder information dissemination, etc.
In reviewing the efficacy of the organization's resources, administrative policies and operational procedures, one can determine how well they achieved the management of the objectives the crisis presented. Between these two reviews, prospective and prescriptive, policies, procedures, and protocols can be developed or improved to effect a more reliable response to impending crises.

⇨ Please share your observations and experiences in applying After Action Reviews for crisis management below. We are all learners.


Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands

Organizational Learning from a Crisis

Thanks Michael for sharing these 2 types of After Action Review. Because markets and other circumsta... Sign up

Alejandro Centeno Jeronimo
Project Manager, Mexico

Crisis Management After Action Reviews Types

This sounds to me like Lessons Learned. In the automotive industry.... Sign up

Michael Norris
Director, United States

Please Continue!

@Alejandro Centeno Jeronimo: You sure have piqued my interests. Thanks for your contribution. Could ... Sign up

Maurice Hogarth
Consultant, United Kingdom

Concurrent Reviewing Means Monitoring while Retrospective Means Reviewing don't They?

I'm confused by these terms. Referents, from my dictionaries, for "concurrent" are to do with "at t... Sign up

Alejandro Centeno Jeronimo
Project Manager, Mexico

After Action Reviews Types in PMBOK

@Michael Norris: Every project is an opportunity to gain new experiences. These experiences provide ... Sign up

Janice Johnson-Lorde
Lecturer, Trinidad and Tobago

The Value of Taking a Lessons Learnt Approach

This approach certainly makes sense. After all, experience is the best teacher, so it should inform ... Sign up

Michael Norris
Director, United States

Experience - the Best Teacher

@Janice Johnson-Lorde: Thank you for participating! Experience is a great teacher. However, it can s... Sign up


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Michael Norris

Crisis Management (Contingency Planning)
Knowledge Center

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