“K” What? KPA, KRA, and KPI

Recently I was on a conference call that was peppered with the acronym “KPA”. In a world filled with acronyms, especially the technology field, I wondered how many people know “KPA” and the distinction from its closely related cousins “KPA” and “KPI”.

So, here’s a shot at drawing the distinctions using job function as an example.

KRA is Key Results Area. KRA defines what a job is expected to accomplish; it identifies the area that is important or crucial; it is the crucial outcome space (Outcome being the operative word.).

KPA is Key Performance Area. KPA is the overall scope of activities that an individual has to perform. It is the main achievement space for the job role (Achievement being the operative word.).

In a nutshell, KRAs define the outcome or end result expected to be delivered while KPAs defines all the activities, not always result oriented, to be performed. 

The final layer is the widely-known KPI. KPI is Key Performance Indicator. It is a metric that reflects the performance of an individual. In my world of Inside Sales, we have KPI’s for the number of calls, meetings, and other types of communications.

So, I have KRAs outlining the crucial areas for my role, KPAs that define the specific activities to be performed, and KPIs that track my actual performance.

All I know is that if I hit my numbers, I get paid. And I have bosses, banks, and landlords “encouraging” me to hit those numbers.

Chase Turner

Director of Business Development