Capturing lessons learned in real-time is vital to the success of your efforts. 

Far too many of us rely on broken systems to capture lessons as they occur. 

Due to the fast-paced corporate environments in which we live, we rarely have the time to go back and incorporate fixes to the problems we identified.

Here is how we do it here at DOL Coach; based on the After Action Reviews (AARs), I learned to integrate into all professional activities during my time in the Army Special Forces.

1: What did you INTEND to happen? (Roughly 25% of your AAR.)

2: What ACTUALLY happened? (Roughly 10% of your AAR.)

3: What can we LEARN from what happened? (Roughly 25% of the AAR)

4: What should we do NEXT TIME? (Roughly 40% of the AAR)

Take a moment to look at the rough percentages listed beside each step in the process and consider how much time you spend assigning blame during your lessons-learned events.

Quit living in the past during these events. Look to the future and ensure you and your team are in sync. A well-known statistic in the project management world is that almost 29% of all global projects fail due to inadequate or poor communication. 

Dedicate the right amount of time to the right efforts. 

Please use the AAR form in our DOL PMO if you need a quick (free) way to capture AARs. You can find it here:

We don’t retain any information you submit. We just want you to be successful. 

Learn from your mistakes. You know what they say: you can never make the same mistake twice because the second time you make it, it’s not a mistake; it’s a choice.

Choose wisely. Choose to win.