Debrief

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Definition:

A quick evaluation of the success of an activity or event—immediately upon completion

Key Principles

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  • Organizing is 90% follow-up—and debriefs are one of our most important tools to follow up after an event or activity. Build a debrief into the end of every activity so that it becomes part of the routine.
  • We debrief for many reasons: to celebrate hard work, troubleshoot challenges, build relationships, provide closure, and make plans for the next activity. We also use debriefs to build and develop leaders—by providing feedback, rewarding successes, and identifying opportunities for future training.
  • We debrief in teams and one-to-one. When debriefing a bigger or more complicated event, coordinators of each area of responsibility debrief their teams. For example, the Recruitment Coordinator debriefs the recruitment team, and the Media Coordinator debriefs the media team.
  • Use the debrief as an opportunity to reinforce goals and hold people accountable. If something didn't get done, ask why? What impact did that have? How does this affect the next event? Ask open-ended questions to generate conversation.
  • End the debrief with a clear plan for next steps. This might include more training on a particular skill, the time and date for the next organizing meeting, and more.

Sample Debrief Agenda

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1. Introductions and Agenda Overview

  • Welcome: Thanks for being here. Congratulations for holding [event].
  • Go-around: Say your name and share a highlight from the event.
  • Goal: Review the goals of the event (strategic goal, developing leadership, and building the Council) and the outcomes.

 

2. Debrief

  • Overall, how did the event go?
  • Did we hit our goals? Why or why not?
  • What went well? What should we do again next time?
  • What were the challenges? What can we do differently next time to fix these challenges?
  • If they haven't already been covered: How many attendees came? Which reporters came to the event? How did we work with allies?

 

3. Follow-up from the event

  • Call attendees to thank them for coming. Invite them to join your Council. Let them know when the next Council organizing meeting will be.
  • Call allies to thank them for participating. Let them know what the next event may be.
  • Follow up with any reporters who were at your event to continue to cultivate that working relationship.

 

4. Next steps for the group

  • Have the date of the next Organizing Meeting or event.
  • Post the next organizing meeting or event in the MoveOn system so everyone can RSVP.
  • Set up one-to-ones between new and existing Council members.
 


Take-Aways

 

  • 1. Organizing is 90% follow-up—and debriefs are one of our most important tools to follow up after an event or activity.

 

  • 2. We debrief to celebrate hard work, troubleshoot challenges, build relationships, provide closure, make plans for the next activity, and build and develop leaders

 

  • 3. Use the debrief as an opportunity to reinforce goals and hold people accountable.