Keys to Business Longevity: The Importance of After-Action Reviews

If your business has been impacted by an emergency or crisis event such as major flooding, extreme storms, IT disruptions, fire or pandemic then it might be time to consider incorporating After-Action Reviews into your business’ emergency management planning process. After-Action Reviews are crucial to the emergency management cycle, as they allow your business to reflect on and evaluate the actions that were taken during a live emergency, and use the findings to build on existing emergency management plans. Unlike a general debrief, an After-Action Review is clearly structured and more formal in nature and will generally be facilitated by an emergency management specialist.

An After-Action Review centers on four key considerations:

  1. What was supposed to happen?
  2. What actually happened?
  3. What went well? Why?
  4. What can be improved? How?
The central purpose of an After-Action Review is to allow your organization to analyze what worked well and what didn’t during an emergency, and apply those lessons to future plans in order to streamline and improve your business’ approach to handling future emergencies. Using a live emergency to help your organization build an emergency plan is a golden opportunity, as they are the ultimate test to see what really works when your team is under pressure.
These reviews also provide your organization with an opportunity to amend plans so that future missteps can be avoided and past successes can be duplicated. Evaluating the processes and procedures that were in place, and how effectively they were implemented during the emergency can highlight if they were difficult to understand or implement in practice. Processes that were problematic or simply not beneficial can be scrapped or modified, helping to streamline emergency procedures, and those that were helpful, but not necessarily prewritten, can be captured.
How Resilient Services can help

Our experienced team at Resilient Services can facilitate an After-Action Review discussion for your business and compile a comprehensive report that focuses on improving your business’ emergency response. Our friendly and knowledgeable team aim to facilitate an open discussion with all staff involved in the incident, and conduct a series of interviews to ensure that no stone is left unturned.

Your business can take all steps possible to prepare for an emergency, but the unpredictability of the future means that there will always be something that catches your team off guard. Emergency management plans are crucial to effective planning, but analyzing a real-life emergency response can highlight both the strengths and flaws of pre-existing plans that you may not have seen in the planning phase.

Give your business a true indicator of how prepared you really are to handle an emergency. Contact Resilient Services today to see how we can help your business improve its resiliency, and become stronger, smarter and more secure.

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