What is the Relationship Between KPIs and OKRs?

What is the relationship between KPI and OKR

What are KPIs?

A KPI is similar to a measuring tape that assists businesses in monitoring their progress and determining if they are moving toward their objectives. 

It serves as a tool for companies to recognize their strengths and areas that require improvement.

By utilizing KPIs, businesses can make well-informed decisions backed by real data instead of mere speculation.

Let’s see an en example of KPI:

Conversion Rate from Email Campaigns – Increase the conversion rate from email campaigns by 10%, resulting in more sales attributed to email marketing efforts.

What are OKRs?

Objectives and Key Results (OKR) is a goal-setting approach that aims to bring clarity, alignment, and focus to your organization.

It is a method to set meaningful and measurable goals for a company, team, or individuals, focusing on executing qualitative and ambitious goals or missions.

Let’s understand this better with an example:

Objective: Improve employee well-being

  • KR1: Introduce flexible work hours, aiming for a 30% increase in employee work-life balance satisfaction
  • KR2: Implement wellness programs resulting in a 15% reduction in stress-related sick leave
  • KR3: Conduct regular employee feedback sessions, achieving a 90% positive response regarding overall workplace satisfaction

What are the differences between OKRs and KPIs?

OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are goal-setting and performance management tools, but they serve different purposes and have some distinct characteristics.

Here are the key differences between OKRs and KPIs:

Features                OKRs                  KPIs
FocusOKRs align individual or team objectives with the company’s broader strategic goals and vision, ensuring that every effort contributes to the company’s success.KPIs assess past performance of an organization or process. They measure actual performance, quantitatively evaluating success or areas needing improvement.
TimeframeOKRs are set for a specific quarterly or annual timeframe to inspire teams to achieve ambitious goals within that period.KPIs can consistently evaluate performance, whether it is in the short or long term, and are often associated with maintaining and improving existing processes.
Frequency of reviewOKRs are time-bound, usually lasting a quarter, with goals and key results set for that period and teams dedicated to achieving them.KPIs are regularly monitored, with frequency varying based on the type. Some are checked daily, others monthly or quarterly.
AlignmentOKRs promote unity by aligning company goals with team and employee objectives.KPIs are crucial in evaluating performance but mainly emphasize specific and measurable metrics.
AmbitionOKRs are designed to be challenging and motivating, pushing teams to innovate and grow outside their comfort zones.KPIs track performance but are less ambitious than OKRs. They focus on operational goals rather than groundbreaking objectives.

Can OKRs and KPIs effectively work together?

OKRs and KPIs can work together. OKRs and KPIs are like two peas in a pod, working together to achieve success. 

Think of KPIs like the speedometer in your car. They give you an idea of how fast you’re going and if you’re on the right track. KPIs are measurable metrics that help you keep track of your progress toward your goals.

OKRs, on the other hand, are like your car’s GPS. They tell you where you’re going and how to get there. OKRs are ambitious, qualitative goals that stretch your team and inspire them to achieve more.


OKRs and KPIs can complement each other. By comprehending their unique roles and fostering a harmonious relationship between them, leaders can empower teams to reach ambitious goals, overcome obstacles efficiently, and, ultimately, achieve organizational triumph.

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Gaurav Sabharwal


Gaurav is the CEO of JOP (Joy of Performing), an OKR and high-performance enabling platform. With almost two decades of experience in building businesses, he knows what it takes to enable high performance within a team and engage them in the business. He supports organizations globally by becoming their growth partner and helping them build high-performing teams by tackling issues like lack of focus, unclear goals, unaligned teams, lack of funding, no continuous improvement framework, etc. He is a Certified OKR Coach and loves to share helpful resources and address common organizational challenges to help drive team performance. Read More

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