One of the main principles in delegating work to someone is to measure the results he/she achieves but not the methods. I love the expression, “manage results, not methods”.
If my board of directors had directed me to achieve an objective, that is totally appropriate. But if they had then spelled out the 12 steps I must follow to achieve it, that’s not. I would have told them they are paying me way too much to just follow 12 how-to steps; what they’re paying me for is my creativity. I’ll figure out how best to accomplish the objective and the board will hold me accountable for getting it done, or not.
If the employee follows the boss’ list of steps and things don’t get done, it’s not on him or her – it’s on the boss. For example, the employee might say, “Hey boss, I did exactly what you told me to do and it didn’t work.” The better way is to be clear on the end game (the result you want) and let the employee get there as he/she thinks best. Of course, the boss could help the employee brainstorm if he/she wishes but it’s up to the employee.