KPI vs OKR: How They Differ and When to Apply Them

2 min readApr 27, 2023

As businesses continue to evolve and compete in a fast-paced market, it’s no surprise that management strategies are also shifting. OKRs and KPIs are two popular frameworks for goal setting. Let’s find out how they differ and when to use them.

Today’s business world is fast-paced. And keeping up with the ever-evolving performance management methodologies may appear challenging. However, any business striving for growth should know how to set goals and measure progress toward achieving them. Two such methods that are often confused with each other are OKR and KPI.

How do KPIs and OKRs differ?

🎯 OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results, focus on setting bold and ambitious goals that are targeted at the organization’s overall mission. If you want to align your team toward achieving an aspirational goal, choosing OKRs is the way to go.

🧭 KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, track specific metrics that reflect the organization’s performance. I.e., how effective it is at achieving its set goals. As such, KPIs are well-suited for tracking the success of specific departmental goals, such as sales or marketing.

So, when should you use which? 🤔

While both frameworks have their merits, the choice of which one to use depends on the organization’s culture, goals, and priorities. Ultimately, the goal is to have a clear and measurable path to achieving success. But is that enough?

To answer that question, it’s essential to understand the role of KPIs in business. While OKRs are excellent at setting long-term goals, KPIs help businesses track their progress in terms of achieving those goals.

By pairing OKRs and KPIs, businesses can establish a clear direction, set measurable targets, and monitor performance to get better results. The combination of OKRs and KPIs helps companies to stay focused, remain aligned, and track progress efficiently 📈

Surely, building a solid goal-setting strategy requires lots of effort. Keep reading to learn how to apply KPIs and OKRs and use these frameworks to your advantage:




Digital product studio. We help early-stage startups (<$100K) and scaleups ($1M+) grow faster by creating products that drive results.