Projects can be precarious things.
It’s a delicate balance of resources, requirements and time. If you keep it all under control, things can go swimmingly, but the slightest knock can bring it all crashing down around your ears. A bit like a game of Jenga™.
As Project Manager, it’s your job to oversee this particular game. You need to ensure everyone knows, and plays by, the rules. In order to do that, make sure you have all the ‘pieces’ you need; cash, people, kit, requirements, etc. and make sure you have a nice flat surface to ‘play’ on.
The latter may be more challenging as we don’t always have the luxury of a level playing field or stable platform even before starting a new project. That’s where you come in, to bring your skills and knowledge to the party, to level it as best you can.
You may need to get extra budget or people to perform a clean up before you start, put caveats around some of your deliverables, or even pull out your scoping sword. In any case, this is the time to do it, before the game starts.
So, in simple terms, build your project on a solid foundation and don’t let anyone pull anything out from under your nose, or add something in that tips the balance.