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You can find an introduction to Action Review Meetings in Chapter 20 of Where the Action Is. These resources will help you plan, run, and troubleshoot the specific Action Review Meetings your team needs.

Definition

An Action Review Meeting is used by teams to learn from experience and use what they've learned to improve future work.

Questions Answered

  • What was our plan?
  • What did we learn?
  • What should we change in our approach going forward?

Examples

  • Project and Agile Retrospectives
  • After Action Reviews and Before Action Reviews (Military)
  • Pre-Surgery Meetings (Healthcare)
  • Win/Loss Review (Sales)

Purpose

  • Learning: gain insight.
  • Develop confidence.
  • Generate recommendations for change.

Work Outcomes

  • Process improvement.
  • Increased team efficiency.
  • Improved operational performance.

Human Outcomes

  • Shared commitment to quality.
  • Continuous learning and individual skill improvement.
  • Deepened connection to the shared mission.

Meeting Agenda Templates and Guides

A Framework for Successful Project Retrospectives

Elise Keith - How to Run a Project Retrospective This meeting agenda template helps teams learn from project successes and failures together, and commit to change based on what they learned. Use this template as a starting place when designing your next project retrospective, and adapt the agenda to fit your team.

Lucid Blog Posts

Elise Keith (2016). The Project Retrospective dedicates time to reviewing a completed project and learning from both the successes and the failures so the team and organization can improve how they work going forward.

Glossary of Meeting Terms

Technique

The 4Ls technique is a brainstorming technique for collecting feedback on a recently completed project or piece of work. People in the meeting are asked to brainstorm feedback in four categories: things they Liked,...
PMI is a brainstorming technique for gathering feedback on an idea, concept, or when a team takes a retrospective look at a recently completed set of work. After introducing the idea, the group is asked to write...
Stop, Start, Continue is an exercise used in action review meetings to look at lessons learned. Steps include: Step 1: Setup Create three blank lists labeled Start, Stop, and Continue. Explain that Start is...

Meeting Type

An After-Action Review lays out a structured de-briefing process for analyzing an event. Participants discuss what happened, why it happened, and what can be done better in the future. After-Action Reviews were...
A Post Mortem, in the context of meetings, is a process usually conducted at the conclusion of a project to determine which parts of the project were successful or unsuccessful. Project post-mortems are intended to...
A retrospective is a meeting that's held at the end of an iteration in Agile software development or at the completion of a project. During the retrospective, the team reflects on what happened in the iteration and...