Year : 2015 | Volume
: 59 | Issue : 2 | Page : 129--130
Results-based management - Developing one's key results areas (KRAs)
Om Prakash Kansal1, Sonu Goel2,
1 Independent Public Health Consultant, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, India
2 Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, India
Om Prakash Kansal
Flat No. 1001, Trimurti Heights, Sector - 39, Gurgaon - 122 003, Haryana
In spite of aspiring to be a good manager, we public health experts fail to evaluate ourselves against our personal and professional goals. The Key Result Areas (KRAs) or key performance indicators (KPIs) help us in setting our operational (day-to-day) and/or strategic (long-term) goals followed by grading ourselves at different times of our careers. These shall help in assessing our strengths and weaknesses. The weakest KRA should set the maximum extent to which one should use his/her skills and abilities to have the greatest impact on his/her career.
|How to cite this article:|
Kansal OP, Goel S. Results-based management - Developing one's key results areas (KRAs).Indian J Public Health 2015;59:129-130
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Kansal OP, Goel S. Results-based management - Developing one's key results areas (KRAs). Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Jun 2 ];59:129-130
Available from: http://www.ijph.in/text.asp?2015/59/2/129/157533
As public health experts, all of us aspire to be good managers cum good leaders. For a good leader, we must learn to add value to the teams and institutions in which we are working. Management also teaches us to define our individual goals for 1 year, undertake midterm evaluation, and assess ourselves at the end of 1 year.  However, sometimes we fail to evaluate ourselves (against the individual goals). The famous saying "I don't much care which way I go" from Alice in Wonderland does not hold true in today's competitive world.
The Key Result Areas (KRAs) or key performance indicators (KPIs) are the targets or goals set by an individual or the department in his/her or its operational (day-to-day) or strategic (long-term) plans.  Although used synonymously, there is a fine difference between these two terms. KRAs refer to general areas of outcome or output for which the institute or the department's role is responsible. A typical role targets three to five KRAs. About 80% of the department's work role is captured by KRAs. The remaining role of the department is devoted to areas of shared responsibility (e.g., helping team members, participating in joint activities, etc.). To manage KRAs, KPIs are set. KPIs are indicators that help in assessing to what extent the role was achieved by an individual.  Simply said, these are the duties and responsibilities that are defined (by the individual himself or his/her boss) ahead of time (e.g., at the beginning of a year), which need to be evaluated in a fixed time frame (again by either the individual or his/her boss).
KPIs constitute the primary responsibilities of an individual or the core area for which he/she is accountable. These focus on results rather than activities, help prioritize the activities, and communicate the activities to the concerned individual or to others. 
Most of the institutions/departments do not have a formal performance evaluation system in their workplaces. Although not impossible, it is difficult to introduce a formal evaluation system as it is not under the control of subordinates.  However, every individual can define his/her Individual Impact Goals (IIGs) or KRAs for a year and measure himself/herself against them irrespective of one's seniority or stature. It will help one in developing himself/herself further and aim for attainment of higher goals in his/her career. This system brings a sense of urgency on the one hand and a feeling of satisfaction on the other (if one was able to achieve what he/she had planned). Moreover, better planning at the beginning will deter one from executing mundane tasks that often consume more time. One should be able to answer a simple question, namely, "What have I contributed to the community (medicine) or the public (health) in the last 1 year and is it worth my experience, knowledge, and position?"
A KRA is something for which one is completely responsible. This means that if one does not do it, it does not get done. It is an activity that is under one's control. It is the output of one's work that becomes an input or a contributing factor for the work of others.
Let us explain it by means of an example.
An example of KRA for a middle level faculty could be:
Empowered knowledge to 100 undergraduates in epidemiology and biostatistics, health management, environment, nutrition, etc. through lectures, field visits, and case studies, amounting to at least 100 h. Facilitated higher learning in public health in four postgraduates through discussions, seminars, journal clubs, public health news, and case studies (at least one per month).Trained x number of medical officers, nurses, auxiliary nursing midwives (ANMs), and accredited social health activists (ASHAs) on various national health programs. These sessions can be based on the needs.Led one or two projects on a public health issue based on the faculty's interest. This shall culminate in not just writing research papers but sharing findings with policymakers and following up with appropriate stakeholders for influencing policies. Managed administrative control of a facility, e.g., rural field practice area for at least 3 months in a year. Guided doctor of philosophy (PhD)/doctor of medicine (MD)/ master of public health (MPH) students (at least one per year).
There could be three to five of such development goals for an individual for one calendar year.
Once one has determined the KRAs, the next step for him/her is to grade himself/herself on a scale of 1-10 in each of those areas in the middle or the end of the term. What are his/her strong areas and weak areas? In which area is the individual getting excellent results and in which areas is he/she underperforming? A simple rule can be followed: one's weakest KRA sets the maximum extent to which one can use all his/her other skills and abilities. One should refuse to rationalize, justify, or defend one's areas of weakness. Rather, one should identify and manage these clearly. It is like the diagnosis of a disease that leads to half the cure being done. One should again ask himself/herself, "What would be the one area, which if I developed, that would have the greatest positive impact on my career?"
If one defines his/her KRAs, then he/she will be clear in his/her thoughts (about what needs to be done). Similarly, after defining the KRAs for a year, one shall try to split the KRAs into smaller workable areas. In this way, one shall be able to define KRAs for a month and even on a weekly basis. This in turn would sharpen the focus of the individual and s/he could be called as an effective manager. It has been said that 3% betterment is needed in each of the KRAs of one's job to develop the winning edge, which will enable one to move to the front in the race of life. 
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