It’s resolution time!

Analysts, journalists and influencers are eager to outline best practices and considerations to lead more effectively in the year ahead. But what about activities that run counter to this goal? The following are a few examples of mistakes you don’t want to make—in the new year or at any time, for that matter.

1. Telling Everyone They’re IT’s Customer

This is a popular notion, but it actually puts IT in a subservient position where the department is constantly struggling to make users happy. Not only is this a nearly impossible feat, it also ignores much more critical considerations like whether the activity is aligned to business needs or results in revenue gains.

2. Treating SLAs Like Contracts

SLAs have their place, but treating them like iron-clad contracts does nothing but erode the business’s trust in IT. A much better approach is to look at any agreement as a relationship, which naturally requires trust and collaboration in order to succeed.

3. Insisting on ROI

You might’ve read this and thought, “Wait, what? ROI is a bad thing?” Not necessarily, but it’s not always easy to quantify the full financial return on a technology investment. This is particularly true for disruptive technologies. As such, tech leaders should be mindful of when and how they require ROI, and also consider non-traditional metrics that might also demonstrate the return.

4. Assigning Project Sponsors

Much like ROI, there’s no denying that project sponsors are important. But to be effective, these individuals must be deeply committed to the project, willing to take necessary risks to ensure its success, and stake their reputations on its business benefits. None of these characteristics are likely to be found in someone who was just randomly assigned sponsorship.

5. Eliminating Shadow IT

Focusing on eradicating shadow IT ignores the broader question of why departments felt compelled to roll out their own IT in the first place. Quite often, it’s because much better solutions exist to address various business problems. Preventing employees from using these technologies does nothing to advance IT as an enabler of digital transformation.

CIO’s Bob Lewis has more on these and other bad practices tech leaders should avoid. Take a look at his article and make sure you disavow these anti-resolutions as the new year dawns.