Key Result Areas Explained and Applied KRA KRI KPI

by Unre Visagie

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.
  • [adrotate banner=”3″]
  • 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

About Unre Visagie
I am a master coach with 30 years of career and business coaching experience. I have built and sold many of my own multi-million dollar companies. I have always built my companies based on the principle of successful people make a successful company. I invest in people. As your coach you get 30 years of experience to help you do the work you love and earn the salary you want.

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Shailesh Javalgekar January 12, 2010 at 12:21 pm


Really a nice and eye-opener document!!!!

Wil be really useful for me to define my team’s KRAs. Also will give me adn them a new outlook to look at the job, and the “between the lines” factors by the senior management!!!!

Thanks once again!


Career Expert January 13, 2010 at 7:56 am

Thanks Shailesh

Good to hear that our site is making a difference! Let us know if there is anything else you and your team would like to see more of on our site.

All the best to you and your team.


Darlington Gama January 14, 2010 at 11:52 am


thank you very much your explanations has made things much easier for me im on interneship of which i have to see that i lay clear cut roles and responsibilities for myself at work.

thanks a lo

Aimon January 15, 2010 at 9:23 am

+1000000 to “Shailesh Javalgekar ” comments. Great work! This is invaluable information.

Career Expert January 18, 2010 at 10:37 am

Thanks Darlington!

You are right, clear roles and strong boundaries make for good neighbors 🙂
Keep us up to date or ask any questions on your new internship challenges, would love to hear how things develop.


Career Expert January 18, 2010 at 10:38 am

Thanks Aimon

It has been quite a journey to get the info as clear and simple as we have it today!


s.sundaram March 20, 2010 at 8:01 am

It has been thought process how the individual’s contribution affects organisation and factors to be taken into consideration before finalising Key Result Areas for one self.

shailesh s. dhepe April 27, 2010 at 1:04 pm

You are right, clear roles and strong boundaries make for good neighbors .
Good to hear that our site is making a difference! Let us know if there is anything else you and your team would like to see more of on our site.
Your all information very much helpfull for every one.


abee May 12, 2010 at 6:28 am

hi, your information is very vital. i want to know what should be a formate of KRA for the OT technitian in a hospital. thanks

Akhilesh Dhar June 3, 2010 at 11:13 am

Hi…Nicholas and All the team members..

Greetings for ur tremendous efforts…really gr8 information bank indeed.

Keep it up..

Warm Regards.
Akhilesh dhar

P.K.SABAI June 9, 2010 at 2:03 pm


The information is useful as an good eye opener.I want to have a format of KRA for a production head in a Automotive Industry.Pl do the needful. Thanks & Regards

Career Expert June 9, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Thanks Akhilesh 🙂

Radha June 24, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Thank you so much for such a knowledgeable information.


chandrashekar August 5, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Key result areas for Waste Management and Contracts
coordinator please?

Greg Hancock October 10, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Thanks forthe clarity around KRAs.Targetsettingishte partIhavedifficulty with in educational terms.
KRAs are result areas plus targets?
Skills and knowledge development is integral to the development?


Career Expert October 24, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Industry jargon can be interpreted very widely for different situations.
Key performance areas
Key performance indicators
They all specify the key areas of activity of a job (area of work) focus.

Target setting is discussed in the pages above and must be S.M.A.R.T. and easily monitored daily, weekly and monthly. (Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Results and rewards, Time related)

It is best to let the JOB OWNER inform on tasks and results rather than the manager monitor. The manager just monitor the information. The manager respond to lack of information flow and the behind target information. Called EXCEPTION management.

A very brief answer for a big subject!
Unre Visagie

Manjunath October 26, 2010 at 11:58 pm

Hi All,

Thank you for giving the such usefull information………….

Thank U very much


Dr Rajesh Sharma November 13, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Hello Team Career Dev.

Great job done. I am a Principal of a school and would like to use KRA.

Could you please help me to define and explain to my team this great concept.

Dr Rajesh

Unre Visagie November 16, 2010 at 10:01 am

Hi Dr

What was your question? We will do our best to help you out!

Apple Jean Rabor January 6, 2011 at 3:48 am


Could u give me an example of KRA and KPI for internal audit department-manufacturing??

Thank you!

Marilyn February 26, 2011 at 5:05 am

Hi would you be able to give me examples of KRA;s and KPI’s for paraplanning department staff in financial planning.
I need to write a job description and list the above,while I know that they need to process documents using templates, information provided by financial planners ex their clients, be accurate and ensure that the plans and strategies comply with current rules and regulations i am finding it hard to separate and clearly articulate the KRA from the KPI

Fred March 3, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Hey Team,

So well written….!

Thank you.

Anil March 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm

i’m Personal Secretary working with joint president also doing administrator work. kindly help me to make my KRA

Ashoke May 11, 2011 at 12:35 pm

I am working as a Asst.Manager-commercial in a construction industry. Kindly help me to make my KRA. I will be kind enough if i get an example of KRA of Commercial manager.

edonga May 18, 2011 at 7:02 pm

please be sending me any latest kra manuals

edonga May 18, 2011 at 7:05 pm

please send me kra
manuals concerning flower processing plants or pack house

Unre Visagie June 24, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Hi Edonga

Sorry, but we do not actually develop specific KRA manuals.

Unre Visagie June 24, 2011 at 2:19 pm

We will update your comment if we add any new material.

Cha Chamani September 23, 2011 at 4:49 am

cool.. many thanks, very helpfull..

vamoussa cisse December 15, 2011 at 10:22 pm

This is very nice and interesting. I hope to be seing this exercise frequently.
Can you please help me to do my KRA and KPI for the DStv bill payment ?


Prashant Dhamal April 12, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Thanks Nicholas,
It’s very helpful information for us. I will try my best to do my kra. Thanks a lot.

Prashant Dhamal.

Ronnie P. Basit June 4, 2012 at 6:52 am

Hi, just checking in to see if you are available to make your world-class KRA concepts for paralegal department. we are in financing business and we want to develop our skills in coaching and mentoring. Thus, could you provide me a manual for my staff.

thank you very much.

Neptali Maroto August 23, 2014 at 7:57 am

I like your KRA post!

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