We all make plans for our work and our personal lives. But even the best made plans can fail at the last minute especially at the workplace. A presentation needs to be changed in the last minute or the customer expectations have been wrongly assumed, you are often forced to make last minute changes and work impromptu. You are also expected to avoid any embarrassment for the team or the company. Here are some ways in which you can combat last minute issues.

Refrain from reinventing the wheel: Now that you know that your plan will not work you should not try to do everything from the beginning and complete it within the short span of time available. List the reasons behind the required change and work it backwards from the desired result. Thus, you get to save a lot of time by focusing on the required changes rather than start from scratch again.

Analyse the advantages: When in panic, we often tend to focus on things that went wrong and the liabilities ahead. While this helps in a post-mortem situation, it is of little help when you still have the chance to turn things around. Thus, focus on the advantages at your expense – the available resources, time, and people. If you can make the right use of all these resources, you will be surprised at the outcome.

Inform the key people: It is better to let the key people know about your plans and strategies for any kind of work. You can explain the process to your team members and e-mail the detailed process to your boss. Thus, they can use this information in the last minute and will be able to help if you are not present at the required location. Even otherwise, it is always good to keep the key people in the loop so that they understand the nuances and help you when needed. It also helps if you credit everyone who helps you during the initial preparation for your work and for the last minute changes so that they are there when you need help.

Bring forth your people skills: Most last-minute mistakes can be attributed to people and mismanagement. Rather than getting angry at the people behind the mistake, seek their help. You need to appreciate the paucity of time and focus on getting the work done. You can deal with these people after achieving your goal. Seek everyone's help and let them know that they will be rewarded if the situation can be salvaged.

Showcase your expertise: When you suddenly face infrastructure problems, you need to bring forth your skills and acumen to either troubleshoot the issue in a short span of time or complete the work without the aid of the infrastructure. If you can outperform others despite the lack of normally required infrastructure, you will gain additional attention and appreciation. You must also communicate the challenges faced with all the stakeholders during the work and after the work to get the due recognition that you deserve.

Finally, if you think that things cannot be repaired within the available time, make it a point to gather all the facts and put them in front of all the involved parties. You can also call for a formal meeting and try to reach a consensus on dealing with the situation. Make it a point to stay calm despite the allegations and any other critical feedback that you might receive at this juncture. If you communicate all the facts truthfully, most of the parties will learn to appreciate the situation and help you solve the problem. However, if you employ belligerent methods to communicate the message, you will not receive any support and no solution can be reached.

Chakravarthy Tenneti