4 Reasons Your Team Should Have an After-Action Review

Meeting together and reviewing an event after it has taken place has the potential to be one of the most helpful and insightful moments your team can experience. Not only can it help address issues while they’re fresh on the minds of your team members, they can also help improve the quality of future events and services. Here are four reasons you should have an after action review!

Reason #1: People Forget

As time goes on we all have a tendency to forget. Issues with lighting, timing problems, and format troubles slip our mind after several days. Having a set review that takes place a day or two after your event can help keep those issues stay fresh and you can correct any concerns before your next project or service.

Reason #2: Your Team Gets To Talk

Addressing production issues early can help increase communication between team members and create an open forum to address production concerns and ask for solutions to area specific problems. Your team members all have different perspectives on your events. Good communication gives them a chance to gain different creative perspectives on how your events can be better in quality and effectiveness.

Reason #3: It’s An Open Forum For Ideas

“You know what would be awesome next year?!” That’s the phrase we want to hear from our teams. It gives events and productions an opportunity to grow while ideas are fresh on people’s minds. Growth is something that we always want to take place. Whether it is adding a new “cool-factor” to the event, increasing a worship-centric atmosphere, or removing something in order to increase efficiency, after action reviews give us a chance to address and apply these principles.

Reason #4: Input From Ministry Leaders

If you’re part of a larger church then you probably have several ministry leaders who put on different events. This is a great time to bring in the ministry leader in charge of your latest event and get their honest and candid feedback on what was done well and what needs work! It gives your team a chance to correct perspectives on production, address the leader’s vision for the event, and help them to know that you are for them and want to see their ministry grow.

Bonus Tip: Plan Your Meeting

One of the biggest mistakes we tend to make with meetings like this is a lack of planning. Open forums are great but structure can help make these reviews efficient and constructive.

Good communication is a chance to gain different creative perspectives on quality & effectiveness. @TravisWalser Click To Tweet

Here’s a sample of how an after action review can take place:

• Open the meeting with a brief word from the Media Leader about how the event went. Include information about how many people attended, as well as feedback from the leadership and members.

• Next give a positive review of what went well and what was effective and successful. It helps keep the mood upbeat and the level of interaction positive.


Give each team member an opportunity to express:

• something positive they enjoyed

• any issues they feel need to be addressed (short list of 2 to 3 things)

• any changes for next year, whether an addition, reduction, or change of process

• their overall feeling about the event (excellent or needs improvement)

• Give the ministry leader time to express his or her opinion on the overall event and address any questions or concerns they may have about processes, visuals, or production. Let them voice their opinion of the event’s overall success and how they’d like to see the event grow or change next time.

• Finish positive! Let your team know that you’re proud of the work they’ve done and that you’re looking forward to the next event!

• Don’t forget to record the interaction. Whether on a form, in notes, or with a recorder, having this information on file for review is essential. Write down the takeaways from the meeting and make sure to follow-up.

Improve your excellence going forward by maintaining these brief meetings and you’re sure to see the quality of services, events, and processes improve!

About the Author_02

Author Photo - Travis Walser

Graphic Designer
Olive Baptist Church | Pensacola, FL

Since Travis began a relationship with Christ at the age of 16, he has served as a Worship Leader, Event Coordinator, Ministry Director, and public speaker. After seeking a degree in Computer Engineering for several years, he eventually pursued a major in Studio Art at the University of West Florida where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree. Previously, he was a Marketing Director and Administrative Assistant at a nationally recognized liquidation and salvage corporation where he worked for several years before choosing to fully invest himself into church media and communications.

He currently serves as a Graphic Designer at Olive Baptist Church, one of the largest churches in the Florida panhandle. Travis has a passion for developing the next generation of creative leaders and maintaining the relevance of the church in today’s visual media. In his free time he also enjoys dabbling in other forms of visual media including video production and effects, as well as web design.