What is the difference between OKR and KPI?

In order to know the difference between OKR and KPI, it is first necessary to know what each one of them means and what it focuses on.

What is the difference between OKR and KPI? Find out here!

Several concepts and issues are essential in managing a company and the talents that are part of it, among them are OKR and KPI. Although they go together, they are not synonymous. Both are still essential to corporations.

Find out, today, all about these two concepts. See how they work, what they are for and how they make a difference in the management and organization of the company, and all the benefits they offer to the day-to-day business.

What is OKR?

To know the difference between OKR and KPI, it is first necessary to know what each one of them means and what it focuses on. So, let's start with OKR, which is an acronym for the English expression “Objective and Key Results”. In translation into Portuguese, this expression means “Objectives and Key Results”. As the name already indicates, this is an important metric that works in favor of aligning and directing the company's actions.

That is, they serve to demonstrate what the company's objectives are and what the results demonstrate that it has achieved them. Therefore, they serve to direct the activities of all those involved in the activities. That is, OKR data help to define the responsibilities and needs of each sector, manager, and employee. Each one of them has an idea of ​​what they should do and how they should do it to reach the final objective, which, then, is nothing, more than success.

What is KPI?

We already know what OKR is, but what about KPI? Well, that expression that is constantly confused with OKR also refers to results. However, it does not define what they are, but the success of the measures that address them. Got confused? Don't worry; we'll start from the beginning. KPI is an acronym for the English expression “Key Performances Imitators”, that is, “Performance or Performance Indicators”.

In this way, they are nothing more than metrics that demonstrate whether the activities and responsibilities are being faced as expected. For this, then, it measures the results and the data that involve these questions. Therefore, when we talk about KPIs we are talking about data that reveal metrics that, in turn, measure the performance of managers, employees, and the teams themselves. With this, it is possible to know if the company's objectives can be achieved.

So what is the difference between OKR and KPI?

As we saw above, while OKR refers to the objectives and results that the company wants to achieve, the KPI is nothing more than a way of measuring the activities and efforts that are aimed at achieving that final result. Note that to achieve something you need to know what you want to achieve. Given this, then, responsibilities, activities, and all the efforts necessary to reach this specific point are outlined.

For example, those who work in the trade of products seek to increase their sales and engage consumers. For this, then, it develops a sales strategy, customer prospecting, marketing, and production issues. Well then. Here, then, OKR refers to the objective: of increasing productivity, sales, and customer engagement. On the other hand, the KPI concerns the monitoring of how these strategies are developing.

Thus, they involve meeting deadlines and respecting budgets. Likewise, the prediction of errors and problems and the need to overcome such obstacles. Still, the quality of services and the progress of the project are. No wonder the KPI is widely used as a project management tool. When combined with OKR, then, it is possible to have complete management of what the company needs to achieve the results it wants and how it is doing in this endeavor.

How do OKR and KPI help companies?

The data that OKR and KPI gather for managers are essential in business development, both in terms of productivity in terms of quantity and quality of services.

When you have OKR data in hand, for example, the company guarantees the following advantages:

  • You know exactly what you want to achieve;
  • It maps the collaborators capable of helping it reach that goal;
  • Improves the distribution of activities and responsibilities;
  • Develops a concise plan for how to get results;
  • It divides the results into sub-results so that it knows the step by steps necessary to reach the endpoint as expected.

What are the advantages of applying KPI?

By applying the KPI metrics, your company can guarantee the following advantages in its operations:

  • Knows what activities are in progress and how they add up to reach the final result;
  • You can visualize more effectively what are the possible failures of the process, to avoid them;
  • Manages to have full control over the budgets that are in practice, as well as the deadlines;
  • Knows which activities must succeed the others and which the deadlines and budgets of each one of them;
  • Reallocates unused deadlines and budgets in the previous phases to the next ones;
  • You have the chance to notice, right away, what did not go as expected and recalculate the route to fix it and still allow the final result to be of quality;
  • Gather information that will be relevant to future processes and projects.


Therefore, it is clear that the use of OKR and KPI is aimed at organizing the company and its activities in such a way that it can reach the best possible result. Thus, the corporation (as a whole, including employees and managers) not only knows where it wants to go, but what it needs to get there and how the plan is being put into practice.

It is of paramount importance that your company turns to this data and applies strategies to use it. Working with this type of strategy is a way to further improve the development of your activities. In this way, be sure to apply the concepts of OKR and KPI in your company and your daily activities. Both can help the corporation, regardless of the area in which it works. Therefore, improve your projects and their execution, ensuring the achievement of results!

Muhammad Naeem Sajid