Category Archives: Post-Job Critique

Knowledge Transfer part 2: Should this job have a Post-Job Brief/Critique?

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Click here for videoOne of the most important, yet rarely used human performance tool for ensuring knowledge transfer to the next performance of a similar task is the Post-Job Critique. An operator friend of mine in the commercial nuclear power industry said it’s like a “Yeti” – we’re pretty sure they are out there, but nobody has ever actually seen one.

Isn’t it funny that after much time passes, you can still learn a different way to apply a familiar philosophy? I stumbled upon a new acronym recently… well, new to me – I’ve been in commerical nuclear power for 22+ years and I have been in hundreds of Post-Job Critiques (also commonly referred to as Post-Job Briefs), but I have never heard of this one before. The point of this acroynm is to come to a decision as to whether or not to hold a formal Post-Job Critique. The acronym for this is “CLEAR.”


The job lead can use the acronym “CLEAR” when determining if a Post-Job Critique is needed.  If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes”, then perform one:

Changes Needed. Do the procedure or work instructions need to be revised prior to the next performance?

Lessons Learned. Are there lessons learned or improvement opportunities that should be recorded or passed along?

Errors Left uncorrected. Did conditions exist that if left uncorrected could lead to a human error the next time this task is performed?

Adequate Resources. Were the resources such that schedules, tools, materials, people, training and support adequate to support the task?

Results Not expected. Was the task completed with unexpected results?

Okay, we know when to do one but what exactly is a Post-Job Critique?

Simply put, Post-Job Critiques are a process to evaluate task performance and provide feedback for lessons learned. This feedback can be documented in various ways.

Progress Energy has a procedure that states: A Post-Job Critique is a formal gathering attended by persons involved in the task to capture lessons learned items to be improved upon, and identify any necessary corrective actions.

My favorite and most complete definition comes from INPO’s site: Post-Job Critiques provide an early opportunity to inform management about weaknesses in processes, programs, policies and so forth that can adversely affect engineering activity defenses and barriers. An effective post-job critique can identify lessons learned to improve future task performance and is a key tool for any organization interested in continuous learning. A post-job critique identifies what went right so it can be replicated in future activities. Post-job critiques should be used for the following, but not limited to, after the completion of project level work, after each high-risk phase of a risk important project, and at the conclusion of emergent work.

What are the products of an effective Post-Job Critique?

1.    Lessons Learned

2.    Follow-up Actions

3.    Improved Experience

All of these equate to practical application of Knowledge Transfer.

When it is required to conduct a Post-Job Critique?

  1. If the answer to any CLEAR question is YES then conduct a detailed Post-job Critique (as stated above)
  2. Required for all medium and high risk activities as defined by your station
  3. If intrusive or non-normal surveillance work was performed on certain pre-identified plant systems (this should be part of the automatic work process and not left up to the decision of the workers – too much to remember otherwise).

How can someone tell that a Post-Job Critique happened? What typical places does it get documented?

This certainly can vary from job to job abd site to site, but Work Orders sometime have a planner feedback form in them, or it can be written into the “Work Performed” section. When I was an I&C tech, we used to update the Work History folder on a particular loop or component, and we used a Word document form we called a “Canned Brief” to use as a briefing tool for the next time that job was performed. I will write more about this in the future.

Like with all Human Performance Tools, we need to be intentional and use a graded approach to conducting Post-Job Critiques and ensure knowledge from lessons learned is effectively being transferred to the next similar job performance.

Related LINKS:

Post Job Review from TVA page 15

Post-Job Review Guide from Los Alamos National Laboratory

The Pre-Job Brief and Post-Job Review video  (start at 5 minutes) from Los Alamos National Laboratory

Pre-Job Briefing and Post-Job Review Guide from Project Hanford Management System

The Human Performance Toolbox from TVA (page 15 of the PDF)