After-Action Review (AAR) at the End of the Season

Once the cold season is over (and could it JUST END ALREADY?!?!), take some time to review the season. What strategies and procedures did you implement? Which of them worked? Which needed to be scrapped or adjusted? What can you learn from THIS cold weather work season that you can implement next year?

This kind of After-Action Review (AAR) can be implemented with nearly every procedure but is especially important in those that come and go each year. Rather than reinventing the wheel, keep your plan on the books, and updated with the most effective strategies in place.

An After-Action Review (AAR) is a tool used to debrief a project or event to understand what took place, why it happened the way it did, and how to improve on it. If used properly, it can dramatically reduce the time it takes to plan for next year’s whether – which can be helpful if the cold weather comes early!

  • Involve your team – especially those that were directly impacted by the procedures implemented
  • Be honest in the review
  • Think about things like:
    • Roles and responsibilities – were they clearly assigned? Was the job conducted properly? Is there additional training that needs to happen for next year?
    • Communication – did it happen? Did it happen clearly and effectively?
    • Equipment – did you have what you need to have warm-up stations? Did you have the appropriate PPE? Did you have to rush out and buy equipment at potentially higher prices? What do you need to purchase for next year?
    • Essential personnel – Did you always have the right people in the right places?
    • Incident Investigations – Did you have any cold related illnesses and injuries? Were they properly investigated, and the hazards mitigated? What changes can be made to avoid them next season?
    • Think outside the box – what strategies that might not seem obvious did we use? Are there any that we should consider using in the future?