Tuesday, 28 October 2008

LtF Chapter 8 - Learning Whilst Doing


Half term week makes for rapid and quiet bus rides - ideal for zipping through this brief chapter detailing the use of After Action Reviews.

These were developed by the US army during the war in Vietnam as a rapid means to learn in the field. (The image on this page is from the US Military Flickr account and is of an AAR taking place in Iraq). The full details of how these are operated in the army are published online "A Leader's Guide to After Action Reviews".

It boils down to four questions:
  • What was supposed to happen?
  • What actually happened?
  • Why were there differences?
  • What can we learn from that?
It is a quick process - around twenty minutes and to be carried out in the immediate aftermath of whatever you are examining. Most of the documenting is of the actions.

I like these a lot and I am certainly going to try and make use of them within my working life.

I wonder to what extent this sort of practice is formalised in processes around care? It should be happening around adverse incidents and near misses but what about in the everyday? Organisationally we are working on the Productive Ward model. Having a quick scan of the documents there are loops for learning but I wonder if it might benefit from the rapid feedback that an AAR would bring?

(C) Image Creative Commons

3 comments:

Chris Collison said...

Hi Alan,
Contact Steve Andrews at UCLH. He's championing AAR there as a key tool for all 4000 staff, and is using simulation and actors to provide the training.

http://chriscollison.wordpress.com/2007/05/14/lights-camera-after-action-review/

They've now taken the narritive centre "in house".

Helen Baxter at Sheffield Teachning Hospital would also be a good contact. They have ward sisters there who have built AARs in the end-of-week team meeting.

Cheers,
Chris

Alan said...

Cheers Chris - very interesting.

Chris Collison said...

Oops - just spotted my typos. Not much good to be a KM author who can't spell narrative or teaching! :O)