A new class of shape memory materials has been proposed based on ZrO2-based ceramics, which offer higher martensitic transformation stresses, work output, transformation temperatures, and possibly environmental resistance as compared to metallic shape-memory alloys. Despite these potential benefits, shape memory ceramics (SMCs) have not yet been able to live up to their potential because they are limited by catastrophic cracking during the martensitic transformation. Recent work in our group has focused on methods of mitigating transformation cracking, to obtain useful shape-memory and superelastic behavior in these materials. This talk will overview our work on surfaces and interfaces in SMCs, which significantly affect transformation mismatch strains. First, the judicious introduction of free surfaces and elimination of grain boundaries in oligocrystalline structures has been found to substantially reduce cracking and enable shape memory properties in a variety of form factors, including particles, pillars, powder packings, foams, and even some bulk forms. Second, tuning the crystallographic mismatch of the transformation by composition control has also led to reduction of mismatch stresses and promises further progress in the reduction of cracking. Together these strategies offer a combined approach to improved cyclic shape memory transformations in SMCs.