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The Innovation Process
Activity A

Carry out a progress review

This activity will help you reflect on your progress and capture learning, involving all those who have worked on the innovation as well as other key stakeholders.

After-Action Review

An After Action Review (AAR) is a structured discussion and analysis of both successes and failures. The discussion and learning should then be written up so that the team has a shared understanding of what has worked and what hasn’t.

This is a good opportunity to reinforce a culture that accepts ‘managed failure’ ie, failure that generates learning and doesn’t carry risk of causing harm as a necessary step to success.

You should also look for opportunities to share your learning with the wider humanitarian sector, so that others can benefit from learning around what’s worked, and can avoid making the same mistakes.

Failure report

Many pilots will have multiple things go wrong, and some will often fail outright. Failure is part of innovating. Failure on its own is deflating, but learning from failure is one of the biggest and most powerful drivers of future success.

These learnings don’t just fuel your own future success, but can also help others to avoid pitfalls and harness your experience to help their humanitarian innovations become successful and impact those affected by crisis.

Therefore one of the outcomes of your After Action Review and any evaluations and research should be to highlight where things went wrong. We recommend thinking through the following points in communicating your failure and learnings.

  • Describe the context and background to the failure
  • Describe the failure
  • Outline the key aspects of the failure
  • Draw out the lessons from the failure
  • Highlight any changes you made due to your learning from the failure
  • Present any successes that come from the changes implemented as a result of the learning

You should choose an appropriate media and communication channel for sharing your lessons from failures, such as:

  • Videos
  • Narrative reports
  • Presentations