Posted by: Adam Deane | 18/10/2012

BPM: Seeing Red

Most of the BPMS software solutions have a nice look and feel to them.
The problem is that BPMS solutions are usually implemented behind the scenes and need to integrate into the customer’s front-end software systems.

Apart from the common integration problems, it’s a bit discouraging when you find out that you need to dumb down the look and feel of your system, to “fit in” to their existing corporate systems.

The importance of a user friendly software solution is usually a low priority for IT managers that want all the systems to have the same look and feel, even if they are old and clunky..

Probably the worst example of a front-end system that I needed to integrate into was in a large company that had spent nearly a million dollars on corporate rebranding.
All the software systems had been redesigned to fit the new colour scheme. Even the building was repainted.

And the colour that was chosen was… BRIGHT RED!!! Ahhhhhhh!
(Imagine coming to work and seeing red all day…)

So why did the British wear red coats in battle?


During the recent royal wedding, millions around the world saw that Prince William chose to wear a uniform that included the famous British “red coat”.

Many people have asked, “Why did the British wear red coats in battle?”

A long time ago, Britain and France were at war.
During one battle, the French captured a British Colonel.
They took him to their headquarters, and the French General began to question him.
Curiously, the French General asked, “Why do you British officers all wear red coats?
Don’t you know the red material makes you easier targets for us to shoot at?”

In his casual, matter-of-fact, way, the British officer informed the General that the reason British officers wear red coats is so that if they are wounded, the blood won’t show, and the men they are leading won’t panic.

French Army

And that is why, from that day forward, all French Army officers wear brown trousers.


  1. I agree with the main premise – that the fitting into corporate system themes and schemes can be a pain, but am not sure about the look-and-feel of BPM platforms – most suck in my view

  2. Ouch, Adam. Hard hitting joke … so what if an English officer is shot in the butt?

  3. That raised a smile this morning. As for fitting in BPM supporting technology should have own UI built in and should be easy to put in corporate “colours”. Such solutions where all information is created should orchestrated data as required that’s why IBM see BPM and MDM as the future – so do I!

  4. Fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed out loud over a BPM blog post before. Good job Adam!

  5. Change is good, even if it is a little scary. Does the system really need to “look” the part if it’s 10 times better than the old version that “looked” right? Priorities!

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