How KPI and OKR Differ

How KPI and OKR Differ

KPI and OKR are two popular performance management frameworks that have been used for decades to help organizations measure their progress. Although both are used with great success, there are important differences between the two to consider.


Understanding the distinctions between KPI (Key Performance Indicators) and OKR (Objectives and Key Results) can help businesses make sure they set up a system that is tailored to their needs.


During this article, we will explore KPI vs OKR, considering how they differ from each other, and think about why it’s important to understand these differences when setting up your performance management framework.

OKRs Go Beyond Just Measuring and Tracking Progress by also Helping Set Goals

So let’s consider KPI and compare it to OKR which can offer much more.


KPIs are a way to measure progress toward a specific goal. They usually focus on the result, such as revenue or customer satisfaction levels. Each KPI should be tailored to an organization’s needs and objectives—for example, one KPI might be “Increase sales by 15% in six months.” 


The point of KPIs is to track progress toward a goal and hold the organization accountable for achieving it.


OKRs, on the other hand, go beyond tracking progress and can help an organization set goals in the first place. They are typically broader than KPIs; they focus on setting objectives that will lead to long-term business success, such as “Improve customer experience” or “Grow market share.” 


The key results associated with each objective are specific, measurable targets that help define success. For example, an OKR of “Improve customer experience” might have a key result of “Increase customer satisfaction ratings by 20% in six months.”

OKRs Think Ahead

OKRs are more ambitious and forward-thinking than KPIs. They are designed to help organizations think strategically about the future and set goals that will drive progress and innovation. This can be especially important for companies in rapidly-evolving industries, such as technology or e-commerce, where staying one step ahead of the competition is essential.


KPIs, on the other hand, focus more on the present and are used to measure progress toward a specific goal. This can be useful for organizations that need to stay on track and ensure they are achieving short-term objectives, but it’s important to remember that KPIs should never be used in isolation. 


By combining KPIs with OKRs, an organization can measure progress while also setting ambitious goals that will help them stay ahead of the competition.


Companies always need to be thinking ahead of where they are when setting objectives. It is the foundation of making improvements to understand what position we want to be in so that we can match and ideally excel against our competitors.

Comprehending the Differences

Understanding the differences between KPI and OKR is essential for any organization that wants to measure success and set ambitious goals. We always need to know the capabilities of the system that we are using.


An organization can ensure that they are staying on track with either method chosen in terms of striving for long-term growth and success. It is generally best to choose one approach and stick to it after weighing up the pros and cons. 


Different companies will have varying needs but with the common aim of becoming more efficient. It is a case of understanding the best methods to go about achieving our targets. Then we can look to automate the process using software that can take care of objective creation and the monitoring of the goals set.


Understanding KPIs and OKRs individually and how they compare is essential for any organization looking to achieve its performance management targets. It is well worth researching both of these techniques and seeing how they can relate to your business, large or small.