TFCO MAJOR SITREP/23 - After Action Reports 2.0 - Comms Center - UNITAF

Unit-wide Announcements / Headquarters
TFCO MAJOR SITREP/23 - After Action Reports 2.0


Wednesday 25 October 2023





Maj

Major James


Commanding Officer
UNITAF


Today marks an exciting evolution in our approach to After Action Reports (AARs). This substantial update is part of our ongoing commitment to improving the feedback culture within UNITAF, making it more detailed, constructive, and ultimately more valuable for continuous improvement. While this is the first update for After Action Reports 2.0, we will be following up with minor updates in the first few days and weeks as we stagger some of the minor features.

 

A Shift in Feedback Culture

After Action Reports (AARs) have always been a cornerstone of our post-deployment process and having collected over 21,000 of them to date, we know a thing or two about what makes a good one. They're our collective debrief, crucial for understanding what worked, what didn't, and how we can improve. Yet for such a vital organ in our system, we have made very little change to the system over the last four years.

This has become even more vital in recent months and years as we have widened significantly the pool of leadership and mission support teams, because this has made the transfer of lessons learned much more difficult and therefore a new system is required, one that much more clearly communicates what went well, and what didn't on a consistent basis. With this update, we're elevating AARs from a simple feedback form to a comprehensive system that captures the multifaceted nature of our operations.

 

Completely new design

The next time you are prompted to submit an AAR, you'll be greeted with the new UI.

 

We've updated the definitions for all rating categories to better reflect the wider changes of this update and made them more prominent.

 

Clicking on each category will prompt you to enter your category rating, as in After Action Reports 1.0 - this has not changed.

 

Introduction of Factors

To complement your ratings, we're rolling out a 'tagging' feature called Factors. After rating each category, you can now select from a series of factors that more accurately describe specific elements of your experience. These tags provide finer details, offering a clearer picture of what stood out, for better or worse.

 

Start by clicking 'Add factor'

 

 

What are factors?

Upon selecting a category for feedback, you will encounter a list of predefined factors that directly pertain to that specific aspect of the operation. These factors aren't arbitrary; they have been meticulously formulated through an AI-assisted analysis of 21,000 after-action reports spanning more than four years of our extensive deployment history. Factors must be able to be both positive and negative, this method ensures that each factor is deeply rooted in relatable and recurrent themes from our collective experiences.

Your role is to identify and select the factor that most closely aligns with your personal experience during the operation. These tags are designed to pinpoint the precise elements, actions, or circumstances that influenced your perception of the category at hand.

 

Expanding factors with comments

However, factors are not standalone items; they serve as signposts pointing toward deeper experiences and insights. After choosing a factor, you are encouraged to provide additional context through a comment, elaborating on why this aspect was particularly memorable or impactful. This approach replaces the previous system of general comments at the end of a report, instead inviting you to offer specific narrative details that complement each selected factor. In the 2.0 system, your insights are directly tied to distinct factors, ensuring a more nuanced and targeted feedback process that can more effectively guide our continual improvement and growth.

Finally, for convenience and clarity, hovering over a factor will reveal its official definition. This feature is there to assist you if you're uncertain about the implications of a factor or need a quick refresher on its meaning, ensuring that the feedback you provide is as accurate and relevant as possible.

 

 

 

Full factor list
Below is a comprehensive list of factors at launch.
Factors will be regularly added and updated by Operations Command, as we feel they are needed.

Category Factor Definition
Overall Atmosphere The prevailing tone, mood, or environment of the scenario.
Overall Replay value The potential or desire to engage in the same scenario again.
Overall Satisfaction The state of being content with various aspects of the experience.
Overall Time unconcious Duration within the simulation where a player is incapacitated.
Overall Matched expectations The alignment between anticipated and actual experiences.
Leadership Micromanagement Overly detailed supervision or control over minor details.
Leadership Mutual support Elements mutually supporting one another on taskings
Leadership Pacing The speed at which activities or operations are conducted.
Leadership Suitability of ORBAT The appropriateness of the roles, equipment, assets, and elements employed
Leadership Judgment Decision-making acumen of leadership figures, focusing on choices that affect team success, mission viability, and player safety.
Leadership Enthusiasm The level of energy and passion leaders exhibit, influencing team morale, engagement, and overall mission enthusiasm.
Leadership Succession of Command The clarity and effectiveness of command transition procedures, ensuring leadership continuity and strategic coherence during unforeseen disruptions.
Leadership Adaptability The ability to adjust strategies or actions in response to changing conditions.
Leadership Clarity The clearness of instructions or information provided by leaders.
Leadership Decisiveness The ability to make quick, firm decisions.
Leadership Execution The act of carrying out plans or orders successfully.
Leadership Initiative  The willingness to take action proactively.
Leadership Leading by example Demonstrating the behavior or actions that are expected of others.
Mission Accuracy of intel The correctness and precision of intelligence information.
Mission Level of contact/activity The degree of engagement with enemy forces for combative units or the level of general activity, for non-combative units.
Mission Civillian interaction Interactions and engagements with non-combatant entities.
Mission Difficulty The level of challenge or resistance presented during the mission.
Mission Loadouts The equipment and gear assigned for use in the mission.
Mission Mission concept  The underlying idea, theme, or purpose of the mission.
Mission Originality The aspect of being new, innovative, or unique.
Mission Outcome satisfaction Fulfillment or contentment with the end results of the mission.
Mission Placement of AI The placement of enemy units
Mission Story The narrative or sequence of events within the mission.
Mission Use of remote controlled AI Manipulation and control of AI elements by human operators.
Mission Use of roleplay The incorporation of character acting or storytelling elements.
Mission Worldbuilding The development and depiction of the mission's universe or environment.
Mission Mission objectives The clarity, challenge, variety, distribution and engagement of mission goals and specific tasks assigned.
Communication Clarity of communication The degree to which communicated messages are easily understood.
Communication Discipline of communication Adherence to established communication protocols and rules.
Communication Efficiency of communication The speed and accuracy with which information is exchanged.
Communication Overall communications plan The effectiveness of the utilised frequencies and call signs
Communication Contact reporting The process of informing others of important encounters.
Teamwork Approachable The ease with which individuals engage and interact with others.
Teamwork Buddy team usage The correct employment of buddy team concepts
Teamwork Camaraderie The spirit of trust, friendship, and loyalty among team members.
Teamwork Cohesion The unity, solidarity, and mutual understanding within the team.
Teamwork Easygoing The relaxed or unhurried demeanor of team members.
Teamwork Fun The extent to which the experience was enjoyable and entertaining.
Teamwork Helpful The willingness and effort to assist others.
Teamwork Inclusiveness The practice of including all team members in activities and discussions.
Teamwork Staffing level/effectiveness As to whether enough personnel were deployed into required slots
Teamwork Situational awareness Alertness to immediate threats and environmental cues critical for on-spot decision-making and team safety.
Tactics Availability of resupply The accessibility and adequacy of additional resources or equipment during the mission.
Tactics Effectiveness of tactics The success of strategies and maneuvers employed in achieving objectives.
Tactics Friendly fire Incidents where allies or noncombatants are mistakenly targeted or harmed.
Tactics Level of planning The thoroughness and detail incorporated in mission strategies.
Tactics Positioning and exposure The strategic placement and vulnerability of forces in the field.
Tactics Spacing The distances maintained between individuals or units during maneuvers.
Tactics Use of assets The effective employment of present vehicles or assets.
Tactics Supporting distance Maintaining supportive distances between elements
Tactics Terrain The use and interaction with the geographical environment.
Tactics Timeliness of resupply The promptness and efficiency of providing additional resources during the mission.
Tactics React to contact battle drills The implementation and effectiveness of standard battle drills during unexpected enemy encounters.
Tactics Use of formations The employment of and appropriateness of tactical formations in response to varying combat scenarios and environments.
Tactics Security maintenance The squad or platoon's general sector coverage for all-round defense, ensuring no vulnerabilities are left exposed in the operational environment.
Tactics Casualty management The efficiency, timeliness, and effectiveness of medical responses and casualty treatment during operations
Tactics Use of stealth The employment of covert or low-visibility tactics.
Realism Realistic combat The extent to which combat scenarios mimic real-world conditions and reactions.
Realism Unit SOP adherence Compliance with unit standard operating procedures
Realism Unpredictablity The degree to which events and outcomes defy expectation.
Realism Execution within campaign parameters Adherence to the predefined conditions and rules of the campaign.
Realism General player conduct The behavior and actions of players in line with the units conduct regulations
Realism Immersion The feeling of being fully engaged or absorbed in the simulated environment.
Realism Plausibility The degree of authenticity or believability of the scenario.
Performance Technical functionality The presence of technical irregularities that either enhance or disrupt the gameplay. This encompasses everything from beneficial surprises to disruptive glitches.
Performance Connection quality The consistency and reliability of the game or voice server connections, impacting the fluidity of the player's experience.
Performance FPS The smoothness of the simulation's visual performance, measured by frames per second.
Performance Number of AI The quantity of enemy within the scenario as a factor of performance
Performance Number of objects The count of items or elements present in the game environment.
Performance Performance consistency The steadiness of the game's technical performance throughout the session, from seamless operation to unexpected disruptions.

 

Back to your after action reports

After you've navigated through the various ratings and selected factors that resonate with your experience (keep in mind, you're required to add at least one factor per category, but no more than three), your screen will resemble the snapshot below. This view is a consolidated summary of your ratings across different categories, alongside the specific factors you've pinpointed. It serves as a reflection of your diverse experiences and assessments, captured in one cohesive overview.

 

 

 

Changed your mind?

Contributions made by you at this stage are only drafts; none of your inputs are final or visible to others until you officially finalize your AAR. This draft stage allows you the freedom to reconsider and revise your feedback. Want to adjust your ratings? Click on the star rating you wish to change. However, note that altering a rating will necessitate the reselection of relevant factors, as the original ones will be removed following any rating adjustment.

Additionally, you have complete control over the factors you've previously assigned. Whether you want to select different factors, modify your existing ones, or revise the comments attached to them, you can do so with just a click. As shown below, clicking on a specific factor will enable you to update it as needed, ensuring your AAR accurately reflects your experience.

 

 

Reputation ratings

We've also removed reputation ratings in favour of the observation system. While the AAR submission interface displays immediate team members for convenience, you're not limited to submitting observations for them alone. You have the liberty to place observations on any member's dossier simply by visiting their profile. This streamlined system and removal of the reputation system is designed for ease and efficiency, yet it becomes a non-mandatory component of the AAR process. It's an opportunity for you to contribute constructively to a peers' progress within the unit.

 

 

MVP

As before, you can optionally choose an MVP - in a minor update landing very soon, the ability to add a comment to MVP nominations will also be released.

 

 

Results are now hidden for longer

To ensure that the insights gathered are not influenced by early submissions, the results of a deployment's AARs will now be hidden until at least 75% of all individuals on the ORBAT have finalized their reports. 

 

 

Visualizing Feedback

Upon the finalization of reports from 75% of the ORBAT, the summary page provides a comprehensive analysis of the deployment's performance. It presents an aggregated view of category ratings and a detailed balance of factors, reflecting the collective experience. The most influential factors shaping the ratings are clearly highlighted. Clicking on a factor reveals the calculations resulting in it's score. Furthermore, Operations Command staff, along with the deployment's Field Leader and Intelligence Officer, have access to the nuanced perspectives shared within the comments on each factor detail page, albeit anonymously.

As we continue to refine and enhance our feedback mechanisms, we'll integrate more expansive results views into UNISTATs, allowing us to aggregate and analyze factor ratings on a much broader scale. Imagine being able to observe our performance trends not just from one operation but across an entire month, year, or whole campaigns. This data will be instrumental in identifying persistent strengths we can pride ourselves on and recurring issues that need our collective attention.

 

 

 

Updates to AAR Submission Policy

To streamline our debriefing process and ensure timely feedback, we're implementing a new policy for After Action Reports (AARs):

  1. Encouraged Window: Please aim to submit your AAR within 48 hours of ENDEX. Prompt feedback is invaluable for our continuous improvement and planning processes.

  2. Mandatory Deadline: All AARs must be officially submitted within 7 days post-ENDEX. Failure to do so will be considered a special category of no-show and is subject to reprimand and removal from the ORBAT in question.

 

Recognizing the Past, Shaping the Future

In the past, we've noticed a trend that needs addressing: poor or absent feedback has occasionally disheartened our dedicated leaders and mission creators, affecting the frequency and quality of operations produced for the unit. Additionally, in our previous system, around 50% of participants often bypassed the opportunity to provide comments or context to their ratings, a crucial component that now, using factors will be in part - mandatory for all.

We understand that this new approach asks you to invest more time — potentially two to three times more for each AAR submission. However, this is a minor contribution compared to the countless hours our mission makers invest in crafting each operation. Your detailed insights are not just feedback; they're a show of respect and appreciation for those hours and a critical investment in the continuous improvement of our future operations.

 

Anticipating the Unexpected

Despite our preparations, significant updates like this one may have unforeseen issues. We're counting on you to identify and report any bugs or irregularities through the J10 Development channel on Discord promptly.

This comprehensive overhaul of the AAR system isn't just an update; it's a pledge to an ongoing evolution aimed at elevating the quality of every operation we undertake.

 

Full Changelog

  • Complete revamping of operational after-action reports, both in UI and functionality.
  • Full mobile support and optimisation
  • Introduction of the tagging system, enabling detailed, specific feedback for each category.
  • Significant improvements to the user experience within the feedback interface.
  • Phasing out of the reputation rating system in favor of a more constructive approach.

 

Important Notice

The following systems will require minor updates in due course, but do not form part of this update

  • You will not yet see factors or factor comments integrated into your Report Archive in Account Management, this will be added shortly, this applies also to all Dossier and Personnel Management systems
  • After Action Reports 2.0 does not support Practices/FTXs
  • Comments on MVP submissions are not enabled on launch but will follow shortly.
  • This update only applies to future operations.

 

There will be a cascade of policy updates to reflect this update, but for the avoidance of doubt, on any subject addressed by this update, with the exception of the Code of Conduct this announcement superceeds any existing policy on After Action Reports published before the date of this announcement.

 

Your Crucial Role

This revamped AAR process is more than just a system; it's a reflection of our collective dedication to making each mission better than the last. As we navigate this change, remember that your feedback isn't just read; it is essential. It will shape our operations, guide our leaders, and refine our policies in the years to come.

By providing feedback that's thoughtful, clear, and constructive, we continue to build more than just missions; we build a unit based on mutual respect, improvement, and shared success.

Let's continue to set the bar high, with the continuous improvement this system is designed to create and the unified goal of surpassing our past achievements. By embracing this level of detailed analysis, we're not just improving single operations; we're committing to elevating the entire UNITAF experience, one piece of feedback at a time.

 


 


Major James
Commanding Officer
UNITAF

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