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Thar’s Gold in Them Thar AAR/ IPs. Welcome and Agenda. Purpose and Value of After Action Reports How to develop an Improvement Plan Esther Corwin, MEP Exercise Training Officer, Texas Division of Emergency Management Esther.Corwin@dps.texas.gov 512-424-2198 Contact Info is on handout.

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welcome and agenda
Welcome and Agenda

Purpose and Value of After Action Reports

How to develop an Improvement Plan

Esther Corwin, MEP

Exercise Training Officer, Texas Division of Emergency Management

Esther.Corwin@dps.texas.gov

512-424-2198

Contact Info is on handout

what is an aar
What is an AAR

A consolidation of information gathered during the testing and evaluation of a community’s emergency operations plan through an exercise

Provides feedback to executive leadership, participating entities and governing agencies in the achievement of the exercise objectives and overall capabilities of the community

Information gleaned from this process, identifies and guides future improvement actions

why write an aar
Why Write an AAR

Creates a multi-agency process to review an exercise or incident

General exercise identification information, but also includes evaluation information

Facilitates honest and critical appraisal of actions based on plans and policies

where do we look
Where Do We Look

Exercises to simulate a stressful realistic scene

Exercises to evaluate a new or seldom used equipment or skill

Incidents presenting unexpected challenges

Incidents having “less than expected” results

OR

Incidents employing innovative actions

Incidents with unexpected positive results

exercise evaluation is based on
Exercise Evaluation is Based On
  • Community policies, Emergency Operations Plan, agency SOPs and SOGs, MOUs, etc.
  • Exercise Evaluation Methodology
    • S.MA.R.T. objectives
    • Exercise Evaluation Guides
  • Observational Data
  • Hotwash
  • Participant Feedback
incident evaluation is based on
Incident Evaluation is Based On

Community policies, Emergency Operations Plan, agency SOPs and SOGs, MOUs, etc.

Incident Action Plans

Briefings, De-Briefings

Observational Data

Participant Feedback

types of observational data
Types of Observational Data
  • Descriptive reporting
    • Typically yields reliable data.
  • Inferential reporting
    • Includes terms like “adequate” or “timely”
    • Yields inconsistent data
  • Evaluative reporting
    • Includes terms like “efficient” or “successful”
    • Difficult to reliably to collect
three levels of analysis1
Three Levels of Analysis

Capability Being Evaluated

Onsite Incident Command

Critical Resource Logistics & Distribution

Level of Evaluation

Direct/Control incident management activities.

Capability-Level Analysis

Resource Management – Identify, dispatch, mobilize, track, demobilize and pay for resources

Develop all necessary components of an IAP and obtain approvals

Identify the resources based on incident need

Activity-Level Analysis

Establish incident objectives and priorities and operational periods

Inventory resources by type/ category that are available to support this incident

Task-Level Analysis

exercise evaluation guides
Exercise Evaluation Guides
  • Identify the activities, tasks, and performance measures to be observed
  • Developed and customized before the exercise
  • Evaluators complete the EEG by:
    • Logging times and actions accurately
    • Decision making processes and participants
    • Player roles and responsibilities
    • Coordination and cooperation
    • How actions were performed, resources involved
    • Documenting issues and recommendations
data analysis
Data Analysis

The goal is to evaluate the ability of involved functions to perform target capabilities

preliminary analysis
Preliminary Analysis
  • Evaluators organize observations into key issues and a chronological narrative
  • At a minimum, should include:
    • Description of the assigned function or operation, analyzed by capability, activity, and task
    • Documented record of significant observed actions
review objectives
Review Objectives
  • Review exercise objectives
    • What was the intent of the objective?
    • What would demonstrate the successful performance of the objective?
    • If the objective was not met, what factors contributed to this result?
  • Review incident operational objectives
  • Review exercise objectives
    • What was the intent of the objective?
    • What would demonstrate the successful performance of the objective?
    • If the objective was not met, what factors contributed to this result?
  • Review incident operational objectives
4 steps of data analysis
4 Steps of Data Analysis

Fool’s Gold

  • Identify issues
    • Compare performance data to standards
    • Identify differences
    • Determine consequences
  • Determine root cause
    • Discuss conditions leading to observed behavior
    • The “Why” staircase
why staircase
Why Staircase

Why did it happen?

Each step should explain the step above …

Why did that happen?

Why was that?

And why was that?

And why was that?

ROOT CAUSE

… down to the underlying root cause.

4 steps of data analysis1
4 Steps of Data Analysis
  • Develop recommendations
    • Sustain and improve
    • Short and long term
    • What needs to be changed and how
    • Give references
  • Capture lessons learned
    • Innovative practice or a piece of knowledge gained from experience
    • Provides guidance for approaching a similar problem in the future
    • Save time, conserve money, and accelerate preparedness
draft aar
Draft AAR

Provides feedback to participating entities and governing agencies regarding the achievement of objectives and overall capabilities

Records recommendations for improvement

Establish consensus and buy-in on next steps

the aar
The AAR
  • Suggested AAR format includes:
    • Executive Summary
    • Overview
    • Exercise Goals and Objectives
    • Analysis of Capabilities Demonstrated
    • Conclusion
observations and recommendations
Observations and Recommendations
  • Observations
  • References
  • Analysis
    • For improvements, list consequences of action or inaction
  • Recommendations
  • Observations
  • References
  • Analysis
    • For improvements, list consequences of action or inaction
  • Recommendations
  • Observations
  • References
  • Analysis
    • For improvements, list consequences of action or inaction
  • Recommendations
  • Observations
  • References
  • Analysis
    • For improvements, list consequences of action or inaction
  • Recommendations
after action conference
After Action Conference

Planning Team, evaluators, and stakeholders meet to review and refine draft AAR

Evaluation leads to a disciplined process for implementing improvement actions and continually strengthening preparedness

after action conference1
After Action Conference

Address identified issues

Develop specific improvement actions

Prioritizes action items

Assigns responsibility to track implementation

developing improvement actions
Developing Improvement Actions

These questions aid development:

  • What changes need to be made to plans and procedures to improve performance?
  • What changes need to be made to organizational structures?
  • What changes need to be made to leadership and management processes?

?

developing improvement actions1
Developing Improvement Actions

More questions to aid development:

  • What training is needed?
  • What changes to, or additional equipment are needed?
  • What lessons can be learned that will direct how to approach a similar problem in the future?
improvement benchmarks
Improvement Benchmarks
  • Must be clearly defined and attainable
  • Examples include:
    • Number of personnel trained in a task
    • Percentage of equipment that is up-to-date
    • Finalization of an interagency agreement within a given amount of time
  • Include concrete deadlines to track progress toward full implementation
activity improvement development
Activity – Improvement Development

As a large group, given a scenario and issue, discuss possible recommendations and develop a simple improvement action.

Older elementary school in a rural area just before dismissal on a spring day, parents are arriving to take students home

NWS issues tornado warning estimating less than 10 minutes before impact

Principal activates “bell” for sheltering, but students/parents confuse it with dismissal

Some parents enter school to take child and “run” from the storm

activity develop improvement
Activity – Develop Improvement

Issue:

  • Student Safety

Basic Recommendation:

  • Develop something to assist the principle in communicating emergency information
  • Changes to plans and procedures
  • Changes organizational structures
  • Changes to leadership/ management processes
  • What training is needed
  • Changes or additional equipment
  • Lessons learned for the future

Jarrell Tornado May 27, 1997

summary
Summary

Objectives and Evaluation Methodology are the foundation of Improvement Planning

Root Cause analysis helps find the key policy, procedure, training or equipment to which an improvement could be made

Applies to Exercises and actual Incidents

Improvements make things better than before

questions
Questions ???

Any question can lead to a good idea.

Synergy is the Energy of People.

Esther Corwin, MEP

Exercise Training Officer, TDEM

Esther.Corwin@dps.texas.gov

512-424-2198