Do you facilitate a team debrief or after-action review? When a team continually shares, identifies what did and did not work, plus discovers what to do better in the future – the team gets better.


“Debriefs are a type of work meeting in which teams discuss, interpret, and learn from recent events during which they collaborated. In a variety of forms, debriefs are found across a wide range of organizational types and settings. Well-conducted debriefs can improve team effectiveness by 25% across a variety of organizations and settings.”

Debriefs: Teams Learning From Doing in Context

Have you wondered how to facilitate a team debrief through a learning and review process?

In a recorded webinar (below) I share with a management team the team debrief or after action learning process called Distinctive: Working Well: 100 Days Better. The process uses a solution-focused process, and it can be used with a variety of teams and areas of goals or objectives.

Working Well and Team Improvement Process – Mike Cardus

To download the full how-to packet with templates – CLICK HERE


What Makes a Team Debrief Effective?

The list below is from Debriefs: Teams Learning from Doing in Context

  1. Debriefs must be diagnostic (i.e., identify specific ways to improve work).
  2. Ensure that the organization creates a supportive learning environment for debriefs.
  3. Encourage team leaders/members to be attentive during performance regarding what they may want to discuss later (i.e., work tasks to be debriefed).
  4. Educate team leaders on the science of leading team debriefs (i.e., facilitation processes).
  5. Ensure that team members feel comfortable in debriefs (e.g., psychological safety).
  6. Focus on a few critical performance issues during the debrief (i.e., less is more).
  7. Describe specific teamwork interactions and processes involved in the team performance.
  8. Support feedback with objective data.
  9. Provide outcome feedback later (i.e., not during the debrief) and less frequently than process feedback.
  10. Provide both individual and team-oriented feedback at appropriate times.
  11. Shorten time delay between task performance and debriefing.
  12. Record conclusions made and goals set during the debrief and follow-up.
Team Debriefing and handling complexity, uncertainty, and change

“Consistent with the process of debriefing and outcomes discussed. Debriefs help individuals/teams “make sense” of highly equivocal and ambiguous situations, learn from them, and perform better and safer moving forward.”Debriefing

For you and your team to learn together you must have a process. A process to identify plus learn from what makes this team or challenge Distinctive; what did the team and team members do to keep things Working Well (what needs little to no adjustment); and what can we Improve or do better in the future.