Debrief together with an after action review template

Nailed the delivery? Don’t fail to review it. Compare the outcome of a project with its original plan to prepare for future endeavors using this collaborative chart.

colorful shapes in a rectangular gridcolorful shapes in a rectangular grid

After action review template

Review what happened versus what was supposed to happen and develop a forward-thinking improvement plan, guided by an after action review report example.

Prep for the future with the past as your commander

Whether you’re unpacking the process behind your latest project or dissecting a company event’s success, this review exercise inspires reflection and builds purpose.

Take a page: Borrow a tool originally developed for military applications to consider past events and plot next moves.

Improve as you move: Gather insights at key intervals during a project to help your team succeed.

Tie the bow: Add a structured reflection session to help transition out of phases, initiatives, or paradigms.

two sections of a diagram with yellow sticky notes and labeled with a question mark and a check marktwo sections of a diagram with yellow sticky notes and labeled with a question mark and a check mark
section of an after action review diagram with FigJam's collaboration toolssection of an after action review diagram with FigJam's collaboration tools

Review, reflect, refine, refresh

After every action, plan an after action. Don’t just shoulda, coulda, woulda—bring every participant's experience to the table to uncover actionable next steps together. With shared workspaces and collaborative tools like Anonymous Thoughts, Alignment Scale, and Lil’ Notes you can build a brighter future—and leave regret in the rearview.


Your team AAR, or after action review example, is broken up into four parts based on the following questions:

1. What was supposed to happen? - What was the initial goal of this project? What outcome did your team anticipate?

2. What actually happened? - What factual, objective outcome did this project have? Did you reach your goals?

3. Why was there a difference? - What internal and external elements made your project outcome different than expected?

4. What can we learn from this? - How can the team grow from this experience? What new skills or goals have you established?

Come together to answer these queries and come up with an action plan for implementing new strategies based on your AAR template.

Following a simple after action report template is the easiest way to write a thorough, useful review. Download FigJam’s free after action report template to get started and invite the whole team to meet and discuss. The more perspectives you can amass, the stronger likelihood your team stays on the same page moving forward.

Follow these three basic steps as you flesh out your AAR:

1. Go through the four questions step-by-step and collect everyone’s input.

2. Come to a consensus on answers to each question by narrowing the focus down to tangible results you have control over.

3. Use team answers to identify what went wrong and what succeeded and plan for future projects accordingly.

An after action review helps your team understand what happened during your last project and how to improve for your next project. When you bring your team together to dissect the inner workings of a completed initiative, you can leverage your insights to build stronger processes.

After action reviews can help your team figure out necessary changes or positive behaviors to apply to your next project by revealing:

- Recurring obstacles and bottlenecks

- Opportunities to streamline workflow

- Key pathways to success

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