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Avi Leaf, an Associate at IE, is a whizz at providing launch teams with practical support. Here he shares his latest top tip about the importance of the after-action review meeting.

Launch lessons learned

New launch. Same brand. Different team.

 “Is there a record somewhere of learnings from the last launch?” I ask.

In many cases, I tend to discover, the answer is “not that we’re aware of”.

When launch is accelerating at breakneck speed, there’s naturally a big focus on the ‘kick-off’ meeting, but the ‘mopping-up’ meeting (or After-Action Review) is often missed. This is usually the same for large projects too.

These meetings are too important to be an after-thought.

It is critical to understand the lessons learned from launch whilst they are fresh in everyone’s minds; to discuss together as a team; to encourage best practice sharing and to create a similar approach to launch.

It’s also important to document those learnings in a 1-page document on a shared drive access folder.null

Focus on the ‘why’ in your learnings

What went well and why?

What could have gone better and why?

If time was an issue, maybe it’s because there were too many rounds or levels of approval?

Or if it was a co-promoted product and no one had factored in the additional time needed for a joint-approval committee?

Was it due to a less-than-optimal cross-functional team way of working or lack of accountability?

Whatever the reason, note it down. Share it with the team. Document it so that others can benefit from your learnings.

Finally, focus on ‘What would you do differently next time?

This approach really makes a difference and fosters a strong team spirit to collaborate together as one team, to help the next team, and so on. Afterall, that next team could be yours…

Find out more

If you would like to learn more about how we can support your launch team with your upcoming launch, including After Action Reviews, please contact

Tap into Avi’s other top tips about Launch Tracking – Why it’s important to address the elephant in the room