Understanding KPIs and OKRs: What Are They and How Do They Differ?

Businesses need to set goals and track progress to ensure success.

However, there are different metrics that companies use to measure their performance. Two popular methodologies are KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and OKRs (Objectives and Key Results). While they both provide insights into a company’s progress and they sound very similar to one another, they differ in their approach and scope.

In this blog post, I’ll provide a thorough explanation of each metric and explain the significance of these methods for businesses.


KPIs are metrics that companies use to measure their performance against specific objectives. These objectives can relate to several aspects of a company’s operations such as sales, marketing, finances, or customer service.

KPIs provide a way to track performance and help businesses stay on track. KPIs can be both quantitative and qualitative, and they should be relevant to the business’s goals. Companies can use different tools to track KPIs, such as spreadsheets or dashboards.

KPIs tend to be more personal or individual. Example: a sales person can have a KPI for number of calls in a week. But KPIs can also be set at the team or group level: e.g. total sales calls for this team this week.


On the other hand, OKRs are goal-setting frameworks that align different teams around common objectives. OKRs consist of two parts: objectives, which are qualitative and define what the team wants to achieve, and key results, which are quantitative and measure progress towards that objective. OKRs involve setting ambitious goals, and companies can use them to promote alignment and transparency. OKRs should be aspirational and challenging, yet achievable. They should also be flexible enough to adapt to changes in the business environment.

OKRs tend to be more strategic in nature, like opening a new product line or expanding into a new territory. In EOS terms, these are new “Big Rocks.”

The Difference

The main difference between KPIs and OKRs is their scope. KPIs are specific metrics that measure the performance of individual functions or processes, while OKRs are broader, more strategic, and define how different teams work towards achieving the organization’s goals.

KPIs are useful for monitoring day-to-day operations and identifying areas for improvement. In contrast, OKRs are more strategic, help teams align around common objectives, and drive ambitious business performance.


KPIs and OKRs are both essential metrics that businesses use to track their performance. While KPIs are specific metrics that measure performance against specific objectives, OKRs are broader frameworks that align different teams around common objectives.

By understanding these methodologies, businesses can gain insights into their performance and align their teams towards ambitious goals.

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