KRA expands to Key Responsibility Areas, KPA for Key Performance Areas which essentially means that these are the responsibilities of the individuals, and these terms KPA and KRA can be used interchangeably. Examples can be:

  • Develop software matching the requirements or
  • Create, maintain and execute Marketing plan
  • Manufacture 100 engine components every month

KRA or KPA can be thought of as objectives or goals by adding target dates or making it very specific. In practice, these are derived directly from the job description of the role, or in the absence of the 'job description' these KRA's can be used for describing the job, roles and responsibilities. KRA is used in most places given its simplicity, however it loses its importance in the absence of associated KPI.

KPI normally used for Key Performance Indicators, can be used in combination with KRA. Ideally, each KRA can have 1 or more KPI to ensure that the individual employees understand when a KRA is deemed to be accomplished. KPI is like the 'Result Areas' in OKR's which adds additional criteria to evaluate the KRA. In the above examples if it can be rephrased like the following:

KRA: Develop software matching the requirement

  • KPI 1: Complete software development on time
  • KPI 2: Ensure code review after development
  • KPI 3: Develop unit tests for the software
  • KPI 4: Develop software with less than 3% defects in a year.

KRA: Create, maintain and execute Marketing plan

  • KPI 1: Create a marketing plan at the start of every quarter
  • KPI 2: Review with the executive management for updates
  • KPI 3: Bring in about 60% responses through inbound