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Free IT Incident Postmortem Templates

Improve incident response with this roundup of the top IT postmortem templates, all of which are free to download and fully customizable. These templates are available in Excel, Word, and PDF formats.

Included on this page, you’ll find an incident postmortem checklist, a security incident postmortem template, and a root cause analysis report template.


ITIL Postmortem Template

ITIL Postmortem Template

The simple layout of this major incident postmortem template makes it easy to compile key details about an incident for clear documentation and review. The template includes sections for the postmortem meeting date, an incident overview, root cause information, follow-up actions, and more. To support your analysis, combine this IT postmortem template with the root cause analysis template below.

Download ITIL Postmortem Template

Word | PDF

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Incident Postmortem Checklist

Incident Postmortem Checklist

Create consistency in your postmortem process by utilizing a checklist template. This template offers a basic outline that you can edit to suit your needs. The checklist walks the incident owner through the essential postmortem steps to ensure that nothing is overlooked, from scheduling a postmortem meeting to sharing internal and external messages about the incident. Keep your postmortem steps simple and repeatable.

Download Incident Postmortem Checklist

Word | PDF


Incident Postmortem Report Template

Postmortem Incident Report Template

This incident postmortem report template allows you to identify the postmortem owner, provide information about the incident review meeting, and create a detailed analysis. Include what triggered the incident, the contributing factors, and notes about incident detection, response, and resolution. The report includes a timeline table for breaking down specific events; sections for describing the lessons you learned and the corrective actions that you need to take; and space to identify the assigned owners. Add a link to the incident recording, the supporting attachments, and any other information you require for a customized report.

Download Incident Postmortem Report Template

Word | PDF


Security Incident Postmortem Template

Security Incident Postmortem Template

Whether you are dealing with a cybersecurity threat or an actual breach, use this security postmortem template to clearly communicate the details of an incident and related system vulnerabilities. Identify the severity of the incident, the scope of impact, and the actions you take to resolve the incident. Include a detailed timeline of the events that occurred during the incident response cycle. After reviewing the security incident from all angles and considering metrics (such as incident response time), compile what you’ve learned to help reduce the likelihood of future events.

Download Security Incident Postmortem Template

Word | PDF


5 Whys Template

The five whys analysis is a technique for discovering the root causes of an incident and determining solutions. By repeatedly asking “why?” you will uncover the deeper cause-and-effect chains that ultimately led to an incident. This process reduces personal blame by focusing attention on the bigger picture and ways to improve systems and response methods. It also informs effective action plans and helps prevent future issues. 

Download 5 Whys Template

Excel | Word | PDF | Smartsheet


Root Cause Analysis Report Template

This comprehensive root cause analysis report allows you to drill down into the factors that caused or contributed to an incident and, thus, identify root causes. List the team members involved in the analysis, provide a summary of the incident, and work through the questions to understand why the incident occurred and what you should do to prevent reoccurance. Focus on discovering what you need to improve, rather than placing blame, and share the results to build organizational trust and help improve other teams. 

Download Root Cause Analysis Report Template

Excel | PDF | Smartsheet


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