After action report

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An after action report (or AAR) is any form of retrospective analysis on a given sequence of goal-oriented actions previously undertaken, generally by the author themselves.

The two principal forms of AARs are the literary AAR, intended for recreational use, and the analytical AAR, exercised as part of a process of performance evaluation and improvement, while in most cases AARs are a combination of both.


The first AARs were developed by army generals. One of the first and best examples of an AAR is Julius Caesar’s “Commentaries on the Gallic War”.[1]

Contemporary examples of AARs include project evaluations in business, as well as summaries of large gaming sessions in videogame culture.

Analytical AARs[edit]

Analytical AARs are formal documents, intended to serve as aids to performance evaluation and improvement, by registering situation-response interactions, analysing critical procedures, determining their effectiveness and efficiency, and proposing adjustments and recommendations.


Analytical AARs have three central objectives:

  • Identifying problematic issues and needs for improvement
  • Proposing measures to counteract problematic elements
  • Obtaining “lessons learned”1


  1. Overview
  2. Goals and objectives
  3. Analysis of outcomes
  4. Analysis of the performance shown on critical tasks
  5. Summary
  6. Recommendations1


  1. Lessons Learned From School Crises and Emergencies Vol. 2, Issue 1, 2007

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Maurer, Rick (2011). Feedback toolkit : 16 tools for better communication in the workplace (2nd ed.). New York: Productivity Press. ISBN 1439840938. Retrieved 24 August 2015.