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Realistic Expectations

(This is a slide show. You really won't get 
anything out of it unless you have a graphical web browser with graphics turned 
on.)
- Enthusiasm is too easy. Don't get carried off with claims. Pick one important area that you feel needs to be improved, and make it a priority to get that one significant gain out of Smalltalk.
- Don't expect productivity gains on your first project. You will have a lot of overhead in training, establishing conventions, building tools and frameworks, etc. Follow-on and spin-off projects will have significant gains if you keep the long term in mind. "...roughly 80% of the total cost of software occurs after initial delivery." [panel 93.1] This should be your target!
- Get help! It's extremely difficult to change your own mind-set. Make sure you have access to someone with significant Smalltalk team project experience. "Two-on-a-tube" mentoring is worth much more than formal classes. "It is imperative to consult with experts in object technology prior to undertaking a new project..." [Cunningham 93]
- Understand the problem you are trying to solve with Smalltalk. Without firm project scope, each option you consider "flavors your design as various influences not related to the central problem come and go." [Steinman 9209.2] This will result in mediocre success, if not outright failure. Even then, "...success in a pilot does not ensure success in larger systems..." [Schultz 9406] unless long term organizational issues are addressed.
- Stress the importance of the learning process. "We believe that we can learn and benefit as much from a failed project as from a successful one." [Shan 93] Identify high risk areas, and prepare to measure their progress carefully, both to avoid a "train wreck" (where many other projects depend on the failed project) and to be able to do better next time.

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