What are KPI, KRA and KPA ? Explain the difference between them.

Key Performance Indicators are indicators which are both financial and non-financial in nature and are used to measure the performance of an organization. They are used to assess the present condition of a business and decide on an appropriate course of action. Key performance indicators (KPI) are helpful in quantifying activities that are usually difficult to measure such as service, satisfaction, leadership etc. They are closely linked to an organization’s overall strategy.

Depending on the nature of the organization and its strategy, the KPIs will differ. They are vital in measuring the achievement of organizational goals particularly in sectors which are difficult to quantify.

Key performance indicators measure quantities against a predefined set of values. These sets of values are called indicators. The indicators can be classified into the following categories: 

i) Quantitative indicators: These are values that can be represented as numerical values. 
ii) Practical indicators: These are values that are used to interface with the processes within the company. 
iii) Directional indicators: These are indicators that are used to measure the direction the organization is taking. 
iv) Actionable indicators: These are indicators on which an organization can initiate change.

KRA is the acronym for Key Responsibility Area. In Management, Key responsibility areas are used in the assignment of task and duties to employees. An important use of KRAs is in the segregation of duties. Every employee in an organization is given specific KRAs for which he or she is exclusively responsible. A typical role will have about three or five KRAs. The security guard in a company, for instance, has the KRA of allowing and restricting entry to the company. The KRA of the employee in the quality control is to approve samples only after checking their conformity to standards and specifications.

Key responsibility areas are useful as they help individuals clarify their roles. It helps employees to align their profiles in line with the broader strategy of the organization. Key result areas focus on results rather than on the processes. It helps people arrange their activities on a priority and improves the management of time. Key result areas cover about 80 % of the work in an organization. The remaining tasks are usually those where the responsibility is shared between individuals and departments.

KPA stand for Key Process Area. Key process areas are areas where the responsibility for results lies with a specific department or employee. KPAs are critical part of procedures such as the Capability Maturity Model (CMM)