Incident Post Mortem Analyses in Improving Future Efficiency

Failure in the words of renowned business magnate Sir Richard Branson, “You don’t learn to walk by following rule. You learn by doing and by falling over.” is a paramount aspect of the learning and improvement process. This is what Incident Post-mortem analysis is about. Security service providers have not been left behind in this either. So how do they use the post-mortem analysis process turn their failures into opportunities for future success?

Also referred to as ‘Learning Review,’ ‘After Action Review,’ ‘Incident Review’ or ‘Root Cause Analysis,’ Post-mortem analysis involves assessment of previous incidents’ handling procedure from the point of receipt of the client’s complaint up to how the complaint was resolved. The details of the entire process of the resolution are assessed in minutes rather than hours to ensure a proper detailed review of the incident. Why do this anyway?

Post-mortem analysis processes are paramount in instilling focus in the officers involved in the resolution of the distress calls. They can act on the moment effectively without having to divert their attention to thinking about how to improve the process or assess the cause of the incident because these will be reviewed after the resolution of the incident at hand, click reference for more information. Best conducted when the incidents are still vivid to the officers, post-mortem analyses provide the chance to identify opportunities for improvement, which would otherwise be lost in the absence of such.

An in-depth view of how the analysis is to be conducted stresses the need to do a ‘Blameless post-mortem.’ This focuses more on how the errors and failures occurred rather than who in the response team was the causative agent of it. This aims at achieving a more truthful and objective analysis as the officers will be free of the fear of condemnation and punishment for the errors made. However, given the human blameful nature, a blame-aware analysis can be conducted but focus ought to be shifted towards actionable takeaways to be a productive process. So how is it actually conducted?

A detailed summary of the events including the severity of the situation, the client’s details (identification, location), the particulars of the response team called in to answer the call, and the procedure employed in fixing the problem at hand is obtained. A Root Cause Analysis is also conducted to understand further the chief cause of the client’s problem after which the steps taken to assess the situation and come up with a solution are indicated. Further analysis is also done with the steps as mentioned earlier to determine which steps were helpful in the situation vis-a-vis those that were detrimental to the process. Finally, learning lessons are drawn from the process, that is, the successes and failures accompanied by future recommendations to combat the failures.

The post-mortem analysis is a process that ought to be employed by all organizations for it guarantees success with constant improvement. It is paramount to learn from mistakes and thereby save an institution the costly frustration of recurring errors.