The Standard 4 Questions
This is the AAR format originally developed by the US Army. It is now used worldwide by other military organizations, government agencies, and private industry. The wildland fire support reference for this can be found in the Incident Response Pocket Guide.
- What was planned? (Spend about 25% of total time on this question and the next)
Review the intent of the mission
Key task assignments.
Desired "End State" (what does "Right" look like).
- What actually happened?
Establish the facts
Pool multiple perspectives to build a shared picture of what happened.
- Why did it happen? (Spend about 25% of total time on this question)
Analysis of cause and effect
Focus on WHAT, not WHO.
Provide progressive refinement for drawing out explanations of what occurred.
- What are we going to do next time? (Spend about 50% of total time on this question)
Focus on items you can fix, rather than external forces outside of your control.
Identify areas where groups are performing well and should sustain. This will help repeat success and create a balanced approach to the AAR.