August 11, 2022

Required Fields

Required fields have been a hot topic at FireHydrant. Choose too many (or the wrong ones), and you unnecessarily annoy your team during an incident or encourage sloppy data entry that someone has to come back and clean up manually. Don't use them at all and risk insufficient data to efficiently propel an incident toward resolution. But despite the controversy, required fields for incident declaration was one of our most-requested features — and it's now available as an option for configuring your instance.

The debate within our product team centered around ensuring that we didn't build any impediments to people's first experience with the product, declaring incidents. We feel that 1) it should be as easy and intuitive as possible for anyone to declare an incident, and 2) teams must be able to capture the full scope of their incident from the moment something seems off. We considered whether required fields would force investigation outside of FireHydrant incidents. Or worse, push people to abandon the incident declaration process altogether.

But there's a bigger picture: driving progressive reliability practices inside organizations. And that means working toward capturing necessary and accurate data from the moment an incident is declared. Ultimately, we believe that requiring a field or two upon incident declaration can play an essential role in improving an organization's overall maturity in incident management. If you're considering required fields as part of your process, we've got a few tips for ensuring that you can capture consistent incident data while promoting confidence and efficiency among responders.

See more about how we're using required fields internally at FireHydrant by checking out our recent blog and our documentation

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