London’s best known and most-visited neighbourhood is now covered by FixMyStreet Pro. If a user is living, working or sightseeing in the borough of Westminster, their reports will drop directly into the council’s own MSDynamics365 system.
In this first phase, the following categories are covered, with potholes, street signs and lights to follow soon:
Users can make a report either via fixmystreet.com or on the Westminster website, and in either case they’ll go directly into the council systems to be dealt with. There’s also the option to use the council’s My Westminster portal.
The council was satisfied with its internal systems for report handling, but both senior staff and councillors agreed that they wanted to offer something more user-friendly for their website visitors.
mySociety’s knowledge and experience helped us deliver this project smoothly to further improve the efficiency and transparency of our City Management teams
FixMyStreet Pro is the ideal solution in this situation: we’ve worked for years on making the interface resolutely simple for all to use, and it can connect seamlessly with any existing internal set-up.
Councillor Paul Swaddle, Cabinet Member for Customer Services and Digital, Westminster City Council, says: “mySociety have been professional, from the point of contracting all the way through to deployment of our new ‘Report it’ application.
“Their team worked in partnership with council staff to integrate FixMyStreet into our systems including CRM against challenging timescales. They also supported us in delivering several successful resident engagement sessions, and quickly reflecting user feedback in the WCC branded version of the site.
“mySociety’s knowledge and experience helped us deliver this project smoothly to further improve the efficiency and transparency of our City Management teams.”
As with all FixMyStreet Pro installs, this one has its own distinct features. It’s been a very collaborative project with the council, in which they’ve provided a specialised adapter that allows FixMyStreet to connect with their CRM, and we managed the configuration and a single sign-in functionality.
This involved integration with the council’s own My Westminster log-in, a pre-existing service where users can keep track of their reports, planning applications and so on.
As well as the normal interfaces, you can now make a report through a My Westminster account, and this means that only a single log-in is required: ideal for the local resident who may be completing several community-based tasks in short order. We’ll be writing more about this in a forthcoming post.
Westminster use Microsoft Dynamics 365 for their CRM, so FixMyStreet Pro needed to be able to pass reports into it and retrieve status updates back from it, all with no interruption to users or staff. This was achieved with an adapter, specially created by Westminster’s IT department, and the Open311 protocol which allows for a standard report output.
This installation also features something we haven’t implemented before: anonymous reporting. For a really frictionless experience, users can log an issue without providing contact details or even a name. Of course, if this option is chosen, they won’t get any updates to the report’s status, but it certainly makes things quick and easy.
Westminster have been a shining example of best practice when it comes to implementing a new service. They did something that ideally all authorities would do when introducing a new online system, inviting potential users in to have a go, and feed back their thoughts.
Once they had had a chance to enjoy that amazing view from the council offices, local residents tried out the report making interface. mySociety designer Martin was there to take notes, and users’ feedback was added directly into our development roadmap.
We hope that they, and all residents of Westminster, will be happy with their new service.
If you would like to explore the installation of FixMyStreet Pro for your own council, please do drop us a line and we’ll be happy to talk.