key result areas

key results area

Take ownership of your own and/or your teams KRA’s or KPI’s (KRI) to grow your returns on effort. Choose the right effort, get agreement and learn to say NO!

This will help you understand key result areas. You will also be able to explain to your team in simple to understand terms what Key Result Areas are and how to apply them effectively. KRA’s are also known as performance management or communication and informing to maximise your INCOME!.

Clearly defined key result areas helps you take ownership of results in:

  • your business involvement
  • teams you are part of
  • projects you need to deliver to
  • your personal career growth

Key results areas are also known as “Key Performance Indicators” or KPI’s. In the following text we explain what exactly key result areas are and how you apply kra’s in performance management. We aim to give you simple and practical answers in the form of a “Question and Answer” style of writing with some more in depth explanations and notes as we progress through the conversation.

key result area Ask

I often hear people in the company talking about Key Results Areas. What are Key Results Areas and what can I gain from it?

key responsibility areas Answer
  1. Performance management (Managers and HR professionals) use key results areas to measure employee performance
  2. To business managers kra’s mean business results dash board or key performance indicators.
  3. People in careers manage their careers by understanding and reporting on key results areas.

All key performance areas focus on how business generates value to clients, the processes and your roles or functions.

The answer is KRA is an acronym for Key Results Area in business or projects. Having clearly defined Key Results Areas enables you to take ownership of your business, team, career or job and to accept responsibility for those areas where achieving business and career results are your responsibility.

Key Results Areas enable you to

  • Have clearly defined and achievable goals or dashboards. (See: Smart Goal Setting)
  • Measure and communicate your progress during the year in terms of identified targets.
  • Manage your skills development. Identify areas for development (skills gaps which exist).
  • Contribute to the company’s wealth creation.
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  • Obtain timelycommunications and  feedback that will allow you to stay aligned and change direction when needed.
  • Promote an environment of alignment and self-management.

Key Results Areas enable you to maximize the Contribution Zones (overlap) between yourself, the company and the customer, as well as the customer’s clients. Furthermore, it matches your individual aspirations with the company and customer requirements.

The diagram below indicates the all-important area of overlap in which you can make Key Results Areas work for you.

You need Key Results Areas to determine your EVA (Economic Value Add).

what is key result area VENN Diagram of KRA’s


key result area definition Ask

I’m a bit confused.

What’s the difference between my position in the company, my roles and my tasks?

key responsibility areas Answer

Your function is your job title i.e. Sales Manager.

Your roles are your different areas of responsibility.

(KRA’s – Key Results Areas), for instance:

  • Managing your team and their performance;
  • Applying selling skills to meet targets;
  • Providing technical skills training for other team members etc.

Your tasks are the activities that you have to perform in order to carry out your roles, for instance:

  • Product presentations and demonstrations;
  • Sales calls;
  • Proposals, quotations etc.

Your function is defined by the key roles you play in terms of agreed success factors.

Your roles tend to remain constant while your tasks may change in line with changing circumstances and targets.

key result area sample Ask

Ok, how do I go about defining my Key Results Areas?

key performance areas example Explain

Defining your Key Results Areas:

Ask yourself: My job exists to do what for whom?

For Value Added?

Writing your Key Results Areas

Write down your Key Results Areas using the SMARTM process:

Value Add?
S – Specific
What must be done?
M – Measurable
When is it done?
A – Achievable
Why can I do it?
R – Results
What’s in it for me?
T – Timing
When must it be done?
M – Monitor
key results Advise

Having your goals clearly defined makes it easier to change something along the way if this should become necessary.

key results area Ask

How do I go about managing my performance?

key result areas examples Answer

Managing your performance will be no headache if you make the steps below a personal ritual that you follow conscientiously at regular intervals.

Managing your performance

  1. Review regularly – Keep a copy in your diary.
  2. Has your job focus changed?
  3. Has the company changed focus?
  4. Drop unfocused Key Results Areas and add new ones.
  5. Regularly check progress.
    • Are you on target to reach your goals?
    • Who can help?
    • What can be done to assist you?
  6. Obtain your manager’s feedback.
  7. Manage your relationship with your mentors.
key performance area Ask

What would really help me is a tool that I can carry with me that will constantly remind me of what my roles are for the year, as well as the tasks they encompass. Oh yes, also the gaps that I have to work on to increase my competencies.

what are key result areas Explain

To ensure that your Performance Management stays on track,  keep a copy of the SMARTM process in your diary and refer to it regularly.

key performance areas in performance management Advise

When reviewing your KRA’s consider applying the White Hat and Black Hat thinking processes and don’t forget to inform others of changes.

My roles for the year

Once you understand personal goals determine your roles for this year:

Please insert this into your diary

ROLE 1: ……………………………………..

ROLE 2: ……………………………………..

ROLE 3: ……………………………………..

ROLE 4: ……………………………………..

key result areas of ntpc Ask

That’s exactly what I need to manage my contribution.

key performance area Answer

Here are some additional tips:

  • Review your KRA’s at staff meetings.
  • Review your KRA’s with your mentors.
  • Having your goals clearly defined makes reaching them easier.
  • It also enables you to identify areas of change.
  • Take responsibility for receiving and giving input; this reduces management involvement.
  • Faster growth with less management involvement results in increased effectiveness.
key result areas sample Ask

My team leader said that Key Results Areas are central to an integrated growth plan and compensation.

What did he mean by that?

key result Answer

Let me explain.

Some of the concepts I will mention are explained elsewhere in this book. At this stage only understand the big picture.

Your integrated growth plan, and corresponding compensation is closely connected to managing your Contribution Zone. This zone is essentially the area of overlap between yourself, the company and the customer.

There are three focus areas that are especially relevant to monitor:

  1. Career focus: What represents your interests? Where are you going in terms of your chosen career path?
  2. Results focus: What represents the interests of the company? What results are expected from you? Are they agreed and communicated?
  3. Customer focus: How effective are you? How satisfied are your customers?

The diagram below illustrates some of the mechanisms that will contribute to an integrated growth path.

The process of arriving at your Key Results Areas contribute to clarifying and communicating the agreed results expected from you. Thereafter your Key Results Areas help you stay on track in terms of the results expected from you: your roles, functions and tasks.Tools mentioned here to measure your effectiveness, like the Balanced Scorecard and the Order Cycle, are explained elsewhere in this book.

kra Key Result Areas


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The difference between coaching, mentoring and counseling.

(See also: key result areas)

This page explains coaching, mentoring and counseling and how to apply them in your work and personal life. We do this in a question and answer style of writing. Starting with the question, “What does mentoring mean?”

coaching counseling mentoring


Do you know what my team player skills leader said to me yesterday? He wants me to act as a mentor to one of my junior colleagues!

But how do I go about it? I’m not even sure if I know what mentoring means.

coaching mentoring


Mentoring, coaching and counseling are related concepts.

All three deal with a process of helping another person to grow and develop.

In a work environment a mentor, coach or counselor is usually a person who is experienced in the area in which the competencies of a colleague still need development.

The diagram below illustrates the three concepts and how they differ in focus.

mentoring coaching

Mentoring Coaching

Thank you to: Elizabeth Hayes

responsibilities of a mentor


Yes, but can you tell me what those same core skills are?

mentoring styles


It is essential that mentors, coaches and counselors have the following skills:

mentorship pictures

Mentorship pictured

mentoring and coaching


To be able to maximize the growth of the individual being mentored and add value to the relationship, the mentoring skills and style of the mentor should be developed and adapted to suit the developmental level and need of the individual being mentored.

mentorship process


Wait a minute, there’s still a lot I need to know!

What does it mean to adapt your mentoring style to the developmental level of the individual being mentored?

Mentorship styles (S) in relation to the Developmental level (D) of the individual being mentored


Mentorship Process

coaching mentoring e counseling


According to Hersey and Blanchard, four developmental levels of the individual being mentored can be distinguished, ranging from D1 to D4 (as they call it).

At each level the individual being mentored needs a different monitoring style to maximize growth.

They have further identified four mentoring styles (S1 to S4) which differ from each other in terms of the amount of supportive and directive behavior each encompasses.

The diagram above illustrates what each developmental level entails, as well as the appropriate mentoring style that will facilitate the individual being mentored’s growth to the next level.

differences between coaching and mentoring


OK, so that means that my colleague , who has high commitment and low competence, is on developmental level D1 and he needs a Directing Mentoring Style. S1: a lot of structure, control and supervision.

coaching y mentoring


Remember to adapt your mentoring style as your individual being mentored moves to another development level.

mentor ship


The mentoringprocess can be regarded as the growth of the individual being mentored’s self-concept through goal directed behavior. As indicated in the diagram below, the individual being mentored is guided from one goal (G1) to a more complex one (G2). The sense of achievement leads to the enhancement of the individual being mentored’s self-concept, or sense of self-worth (S-C.1 to S-C.2)

After achieving the goal, it is vital that the mentor assists the individual being mentored to REFLECT on the achievement.

Through reflection (which implies honest feedback) self-analysis and self-evaluation, growth of the individual being mentored’s self-concept is facilitated.

mentorship model

Mentorship model

mentoring y coaching


The Performance Management Process is a very effective vehicle for setting and reviewing goals.

four levers of control

Four levers of control

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Simons Four Levers of Control

In this article you will find a question and answer style explanation of the four levers of control.

levers of control


I often hear people say that the company is on track. How do they know that? What mechanisms exist that guide the company, its people and its business to stay on track?

levers of control


As a fast growing company in an ever-changing environment your company focuses on the effective utilization of , as  R.Simons from Harvard Business School calls it, the four levers of control.

Within the company, mechanisms exist to ensure that four things happen effectively:

  1. Obtaining commitment to the purpose of the company
  2. Staking out the territory
  3. Getting the job done
  4. Positioning for tomorrow

For each aspect there is a lever of control to ensure it Stays On Track.

This diagram identifies the four levers of control and gives you a Holistic view of the dynamics of controlling strategy:

levers of control

Levers of control

simons levers of control


I can see that we are dealing with four sets of systems – the four levers – that work together to ensure that the business strategy stays on track. I recognise some of the terms, but can’t you give me practical examples that will enable me to get a better picture of what the Four Levels of Control consist of in our company.

simons levers of control


See the link with the symbols and the culture of the company? Remember the balance scorecard?

It’s a very useful diagnostic control system…and do you realise that the key result areas process is also a diagnostic control system for individual performance and career management.

Lets explore the What, Why and How of the four levers of control in the company:

LEVER 1: Belief systems


Explicit sets of belief that define basic values, purpose and direction; including


To provide momentum and guidance to opportunity

  • Mission statements
  • Vision statements
  • Credos
  • Statements of purpose

LEVER 2: Boundary system


Formally stated rules, limits and prescriptions tied to defined sanctions and credible threat to punishment


To allow individual creativity within defined limits of freedom

  • Codes of business conduct
  • Strategic planning systems
  • Asset acquisition systems
  • Operational systems

LEVER 3: Diagnostic control system


Feedback systems that monitor organisational outcomes and correct deviations from preset standards of performance like:


  • To allow effective resource allocation
  • To define goals


  • Set standards
  • Measure outputs
  • Link incentives to goal achievement

LEVER 4: Interactive control system


Those systems that team player skills use to advance and develop.


  • To focus organisational attention on strategic uncertainties
  • To provoke the emergence of new initiatives and strategies
  • To ensure that the way we do business relates very closely to the changes in customer needs


By ensuring that:

  • Information regarding changes in technologies, customer requirements, supplier strategy, competitors strategies and team skills are adequately and proactively incorporated into the strategy process
  • The chosen strategy remains appropriate to the business reality and overall company objectives
4 levels of control


Much of the How of Lever 4 is achieved over a cup of coffee through interaction during team discussions, and through listening to your customer…

Try some active listening and productive questioning techniques on your customer, you’ll be amazed at what you learn!

Thinking about changing careers? Read this next: What career is right for me