You’ll now find the staff manual for FixMyStreet Pro online and easy to access. Do take a look!
When we were putting the design for this manual together, we thought we’d have a quick google round for other council SAAS documentation, to see if anyone was doing it particularly well.
We didn’t get very far, though— it seems there’s a culture of corporate secrecy amongst other suppliers, and a fear of publishing such materials in case of imitation.
We’ve gone our own way on this one for a few reasons.
First, because it helps you. We know that it’s far easier for customers to look online for materials than it is to remember where they’ve put a physical handbook.
We know we could have put it behind a password, but that just adds an impediment for our customers, and for anyone hoping to understand the service a little better before making a purchasing decision. Plus, who remembers passwords for something they might only be accessing a couple of times a year? It’s just extra faff.
You only need bookmark the documentation page, and you’ll always be able to find the most up to date version of our staff manual.
There’s another reason as well, though. Most mySociety codebases — including FixMyStreet — are Open Source, meaning that anyone who wants to can inspect or use the code for their own purposes. If anyone really wanted to know our ‘secrets’… well, they’re already out in the public domain.
We reckon there’s more to gain by publishing our instruction manual than there is to lose. Sure, competitors might see what features we offer, and they might even copy them. We’re confident, though, that our customer service, company culture, and our insistence on making our products as user friendly as possible, all give us an advantage that imitators are unlikely to be able to match.
So, please do go ahead and read the manual. We hope you’ll find it useful, and that you’ll get in touch if there’s anything you think is missing.