A key result area (KRA) is an strategic factor either internal to the organization or external, where strong positive results must be realized for the organization to achieve its strategic goal(s), and therefore, move toward realizing the organization’s longer term vision of success. Key result areas are sometimes referred to “critical success factors” or “key drivers of success.”
Once 6-9 KRAs are defined, a leadership team can move on to spelling out (and eventually selecting) a set of feasible strategy alternatives for positively impacting each Key Result Area. These strategies can then be incorporated into the organization’s long term strategic plan with appropriate responsibilities and time frames assigned. This set of longer term strategies must then be translated into a balanced set of operational objectives, which are foundational to building and implementing the near term operating plan.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) on the other hand are high level measures or metrics, for one particular objective, which (when measured and reported) give the leadership team an “indication” as to whether the organization is making progress towards achieving that particular objective. Careful attention should be given in defining each of these core strategic planning and management elements.