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Objectives of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

Key performance indicators are metrics that measure the overall effectiveness of a business or individual. They are most often used for measuring progress in an organization's mission-critical areas. In this blog post, we will discuss some examples and use cases for KPIs, so you can see how they could be useful for your company.

Objectives of Key Performance Indicators

The difference between objectives and key performance indicators

In a nutshell, objectives (OBJ.) are the things you want to achieve, and key performance indicators are the things that are used to evaluate your success.

An objective is a target or desired result. A KPI helps you understand past performance better and measure progress towards achieving an OBJ. In other words, KPIs are how you track progress to see whether or not you've achieved your objective.

The difference between objectives and KPIs is simple: objectives are what you want to accomplish, while KPIs and business metrics help you measure your success in doing so.

What is the objective of the KPI?

KPI stands for key performance indicators. It is a metric that measures the effectiveness of an organization.

KPI is often used to measure business success and performance. It is important to have goals and objectives in mind when setting up KPIs so that they are aligned with your key business objectives. KPI objective is the objective that a company sets for itself when it is looking to improve its business performance, used to monitor and track progress. Objectives can be set in terms of financial KPIs, operational KPIs, and customer-centric KPIs. Performance measures can be set for these KPIs in terms of progress, rate of progress, and time to achieve.

Meaningful KPIs

Commonly used KPIs are sales, revenue, profit, and productivity. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are a set of measures that help in assessing the efficiency of an organization. They are used to establish the progress of an organization in achieving its OBJ. (i.e sales in the month, average resolution time, number of units produced, inventory turnover)

KPIs can be used to

  • market share

  • specific business

  • operational performance

  • maintenance to keep

  • sales and marketing

  • marketing campaign

  • increase performance across the sales team

Additionally, find out more about eCommerce KPIs here.

KPIs commonly used and classified into three categories

  • Financial KPIs (net profit, gross margin, net profit margin)

  • Operational KPIs

  • Strategic KPIs

The first two categories are used to measure the profitability and efficiency of an organization while a strategic KPI measures how much the effectiveness of an organization's strategy or mission.

The objectives of KPIs may be broken down into four categories

1) To measure the performance of a specific activity or process.

2) To determine if an objective is being met or not met.

3) To evaluate how well a company is performing when compared to its peers in the industry.

4) To measure progress towards an objective over time.

Identify Your Indicators: Lagging vs Leading

Leading indicators generally focus on future consequences, whereas lagging indicators typically look back at past performance and are easier to evaluate events so can be measured better. Therefore, leading indicators are harder to interpret than lag ones.

For example, the number of jobs lost in a recession is a lagging indicator because it reflects what actually happened in the past. On the other hand, the unemployment rate is a leading indicator because it provides insights into what might happen in the future.

What is the difference between objectives, goals, and targets?

The difference between objectives, goals and targets can be hard to understand at first. However, it is important to know what each of these terms means in order to better manage a project.


Objectives are the desired outcomes of a goal. The achievement of the objective is the result that will happen when the goal or target is achieved. For example, an objective for a business project might be to increase customer satisfaction by 30% in the next 2 quarters.


Goals are short-term achievements that are set up as intermediate steps towards achieving an objective. For example, one goal for a business project might be to increase customer satisfaction by 15% over 2 months. The next step would then be to increase customer fulfilment by 20% over six months.


Targets are specific points in time during which goals are set up as intermediate steps towards achieving an objective. For example, one target for a business project might be to increase customer satisfaction by 15% over two months and another KPI target might be to increase employee productivity.

What’s the difference between KPIs, targets and setting goals?

KPI is a measurable numeric dimension of the key metric. Metrics are used to measure performance and success. Target is the desired value in a KPI, which can be set by business leaders, managers or an individual contributor to different aspects of your business. The goal is the aim or target for achieving a KPI.

  • KPI: Key Performance Indicator

  • Target: Target value

  • Goal: Aimed value

One way to measure future success

  1. Starts with your Mission. - What's your purpose?

  2. The primary objective supports the mission.

  3. The secondary objective is the way you can achieve your Primary OBJ.

  4. Target is a measure of the degree of success. (Target value)

  5. The goal is an indicator of success. (Aimed value)

Example of individual OBJ. that is easy to measure:

Samuel’s mission is to be the best athlete he can be.


- Develop and maintain excellent fitness, strength, speed, endurance, technique, and mental toughness as a competitive athlete. Achieve all of these objectives while staying injury free.


- Integrate mental conditioning, techniques and meal plan into his training program.


- Maintain a training program with at least 4 times a week workouts for 6 months. Take the best photos of his life and post them on Instagram.


- Be one of the most in-shape athletes he knows after 6 months.

Example of organizational goals

Mission to positively raise public awareness of the importance of bees, beekeeping and safe honey.

Primary to educate the public on the value of beehives and honey, and increase awareness of needed legislation to protect bees.

Secondary to engage audiences in a discussion about safe beekeeping practices.

Target 5,000 views on a well-known video platform.

Goal to increase 1,000 views per month.

Is your objective realistic?

Many people believe that achieving a goal would be very difficult and the process would take a lot of time. How do you know if it's the case? There are also those who believe that achieving a goal would be impossible and that it's better to focus on other objectives instead. There are many factors that will affect the success of an objective. KPIs without objectives are pretty useless.

For example, if the target audience is not interested in a particular topic then it will be difficult to achieve a specific objective. This is where market research can help you.

How can you decide if an objective is realistic enough?

As mentioned earlier, there are many factors that can affect the success of an objective. You should first do a SWOT analysis and look at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to determine if achieving a goal would be possible.

An example of an objective could be "Make $3 million by 2023" You can easily decide if this objective is realistic enough or not realistic because the time frame is too long or too short.

Good performance: Set KPIs and Use KPIs Realistically

There are many different KPIs, but it is important to have a good KPI used to track improvement towards goals. The most common good KPIs are sales, earnings, and cost per conversion. Oftentimes, these metrics can be easily obtained from an accounting report. Another example of the right KPIs is conversion. The best performance on this metric would be having 300% more conversions than last year. - This is a good indicator because it shows that the company is growing.

The key to performance is the ability to set realistic goals. A good example would be setting goals of achieving a 2% conversion rate increase each month. This can help you achieve your target by setting achievable milestones and tracking your progress over time.

business objective

Monitoring Your Organization or Company's Health

KPIs are the dashboards for your organization or company's health and choosing the specific right amount of KPIs is essential for maintaining the goals towards completion. It is vital to know which part of your project, needs more power and what changes will be affected before setting the KPIs.

Four Categories to Measure

Studies show that it is very important to measure some KPIs specifically these four categories which are: Employees, Customers, Revenue, and Processes. These sorted types of categories fall under the discipline of Business processes, Human Resources, Customer Experience, Business Strategy, and many more. Choosing the essential KPIs dashboards and reports, and setting up the right talent for the job is very necessary during the whole period of the procedure.

Tackling opportunities and solving the problems

KPIs are used effectively when using combinations of them. Just like in the case of a sale manager, sorting the right KPIs will help maintain the grip on the number of outbound calls, attending trade shows, or the appointments that are required to be kept. Through these techniques, the management team can also sort out a better way of communicating at work between the growth progress and Key Progress indicators.

Outcomes that matter

According to studies, these tactics will put a good impact on the employees and makes the feeling in them that their outcomes are purposeful for their organization’s success. Performance KPIs are helpful for the employees for making their track progress towards the right path by giving their statistics about daily activities, impacts of the employees, identifying their roles, etc. These procedures will make everyone inside the organization satisfied and happier to contribute to progress.

How is your business different?

Key performance indicators are helpful in many scenarios but KPIs must be used carefully at every department level because every department has its objective. Therefore, the same KPIs in all the departments may distract the growth of targeted objectives toward decline.

Key Performance indicators are helpful in an organization’s objective by monitoring the proper track of progressive growth and making a happier relationship between the clients and the stakeholders for making the business more stable KPIs make its maximum performance with the team lead and related staff.


It will be easier to reach required business goals and targets within a specific time with the help of KPIs by monitoring the weekly reports or daily basis reports.

Over time, the KPI becomes more deep-rooted and therefore it should be known must about the objectives and requirements of the business or organization. The balanced scorecard helps organizations to plan, monitor, and report on their routine and to make plans for future performance. Using a balanced scorecard is essential for all organizations because it helps with decisions on which activities are most effective in accomplishing the organization's mission. Get the required updates and future predictions about upcoming events and maintain the progress for reaching your goals within a specific range of time. If you have an online store you might be interested to read more about eCommerce KPIs and key performance indicators examples here.

This article was written by 7needs, check out the collection of our business strategy blog posts.

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