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OKR vs EFQM: Find out which is better for your organization

11 min read

After all, management is not that easy. 

Hey, it’s the goal-setting day, and we understand you’re probably getting hit left and right with requirements, aspirations, visions, and much more.

It’s not only vital to set goals, but also important to manage them effectively to get the desired results. There are several management frameworks that’ll help you do this, and today we will talk about two of them: OKRs and EFQM.

In this series, we have also compared: 

  1. OKR vs. SMART goals 
  2. OKR vs. 4DX 

Today, let’s have a look at how OKRs compare with the EFQM model.

Before we take a big beautiful dive into the comparison part, let’s have a look at what they are, their history, and how they can help your organization.

What is OKR?

OKRs stands for Objectives and Key Results. Andrew Grove, also known as the ‘father of OKRs’ invented it at intel, and later on, John Doerr popularized it at Google. It is a framework to set measurable and concrete targets within an organization. The objectives of an organization can be either short term or long term. OKRs help to align the 3 important goals (individual, team, and organization).

It has become a key methodology for top companies around the world. OKR fits the bill, especially in organizations where creativity needs to be tracked. To track these objectives, the Key Results act as measurable objectives.

OKR example: For a sales manager, OKRs should look something like this.


  • Objective- Recruit the best sales folks for the sales team
  • Key result 1- Hire 1 new inside-sales manager
  • Key result 2- Hire 5 new sales executives


  • Objective- Achieve the sales quota
  • Key result 1- $1 million in sales revenue
  • Key result 2- 2000 paid customers
  • Key result 3- 40,000 signups

If you want to check more for HR check OKR examples for HR.

Implementation of OKRs

Implementation of OKRs requires us to follow steps. Here are those steps:


To start off, arrange a meeting with everyone who’s going to be part of the OKR implementation phase. Inform everyone involved in the process because not every employee will know about OKRs. Make them aware of the benefits and the steps.

Fix a tool

Having a top-notch OKR tool to help you out is the key. A tool that doesn’t understand your requirement can cause more harm than good. A plethora of tools are available in the market, so make sure you choose a tool that’s easy to use and full of features.

Identify objectives

Discover all your objectives and place them in the OKR software. It’s important to identify both objectives and the set of key results you expect. Start with fewer objectives, and then scale with time.

Review Results

Once, you start getting results, it’s time to analyze them with the help of data from the software. These results will help you determine the next step as a team or an organization.

To learn more about OKRs, please visit our ‘A detailed view of OKR framework’ blog.

What is EFQM?

EFQM stands for the European Foundation for Quality Management. It was started by a bunch of European folks back in 1989, and it’s a non-profit foundation. The framework started in Europe and is being used actively around the world, especially in Latin America. The first-ever EFQM excellence model came out in 1992.

It is focused on helping organizations understand whether the path they are taking is the one towards excellence or doom. If doom, then this model provides tools and techniques to measure improvement in a defined period. Here, ‘cause’ and ‘effect’ are the key as organizations get to focus on what exactly they did and what results they got at the end. Understanding the gaps is the first step towards figuring out the right solutions for a particular organization.

The model has three components:

Key Management Principles

There are eight core values in this component.

  • Adding value for customers
  • Creating a sustainable future
  • Developing organizational capability
  • Harnessing creativity, and innovation
  • Leading with vision, inspiration, and integrity
  • Managing with agility
  • Succeeding through the talent of people
  • Sustaining outstanding results

Facilitators (Enablers)

This component is responsible for facilitating the inputs or action part of this component. Change the steps, and it will lead to a change in results.

  • Leadership
  • People
  • Strategy
  • Partnership and Resources
  • Processes, Products, and Services

Outcomes (Results)

Inputs lead to outputs. There are 4 results in this component.

  • People outcomes
  • Customer outcomes
  • Society outcomes
  • Business outcomes

EFQM excellence uses a continuous improvement cycle for performance management, and it is called RADAR logic. The logic helps organizations to figure out the impact of their strategies and action towards goal management.

  • It determines the results (outcomes) expected as part of the strategy.
  • Once you have a set of outcomes, now is the time to plan and develop a set of Approaches. The approaches will help deliver those results both in the present and future.
  • Once ready, Deploy the approaches in a way that the implementation phase is smooth and effective.
  • Post-deployment, Assess, and Refine these approaches based on the results achieved.

Benefits of the EFQM model

  • It helps to define the purpose
  • It helps to create a positive culture
  • It helps to build strong leaders
  • It helps to elevate the performance of employees
  • It helps to solve unique challenges by predicting the outcomes

Example of an EFQM model: Let’s assume you want to use this model for a sales team and its performance.

Plan: To set strategic objectives, Identify the needs of your customers and their expectations.

Do: It’s time to implement processes and operate their functioning.

Check: Gather business results. Keep an eye on the processes, review, and analyze.

Act: Continuously improve process performance.

That’s all for the EFQM model. Now, let’s go to the comparison part. It’s time for OKR vs EFQM.

OKR vs EFQM (The Comparison)

It takes less time to implement. It takes more time to implement. 
Check-in parameters are available. Check-in parameters are not available. 
There is no specific interdependence. There is a specific dependence between all enablers. 
It makes it easy to distinguish the individual impact. It makes it difficult to distinguish individual impact. 
Only the participating stakeholders affect the results. Both external and internal indicators affect the process. 
Focused on input/output. Focused on cause and effect. 
Once a goal is reached, it’s time to create new ones. The process is continuously improving towards the perfection state. 

Differences are plenty. To start with the obvious, it’s clear EFQM is a broad level framework compared to OKR. Through the model of excellence, EFQM focuses on inputs, outputs, stakeholders, relationships with the outside world, and much more. It makes it non-accessible for smaller teams or individual employees.

The focus is on excellence, so even when you get a result, you need to improve on that result and achieve maximum efficiency. The process requires time and energy, making it far more relevant for senior management or top leaders.

It is a challenge that OKR intends to solve with ease of use during the implementation phase. OKR is more focused on newer outcomes compared to EFQM. In OKR, once you reach the desired results for particular objectives, it’s time to move on to other objectives.

OKR and EFQM models are different from each other because both cater to a different set of people. The first focuses on a simple method of turning objectives into results. The problem is that’s why it doesn’t work when planning for long term organization-wide strategies.

EFQM, on the other hand, is a handy tool for strategy because it involves all the stakeholders and other necessary parameters. Yes, it has a broad scope, but sometimes the strategies from the management don’t really get passed on to the employees effectively in the organization. Still, the model captures the nuances of the core business model.

Mostly, as an organization, you will have to use both the models for different sets of people in your organization depending upon their roles and what they need to do to play those roles well enough.

Conclusion: How’s your goal management?


That’s because the big, traditional performance management enterprises won’t take your call unless you’ve got a lot of money to offer.

(Not exactly attainable for everyone)

But now Keka’s PMS is making it easy for organizations to handle goals (whether OKR or others) without hassle.

Ready to add goal management to your agenda in 2021?

Check out Keka!

Table of Contents

    Meet the author

    Keka Editorial Team

    A bunch of inspired, creative and ambitious youngsters- that’s Keka’s editorial team for you. We have a thirst to learn new subjects and curate diverse pieces for our readers. Our deep understanding and knowledge of Human Resources has enabled us to answer almost every question pertaining to this department. If not seen finding ways to simplify the HR world, they can be found striking conversations with anyone and everyone , petting dogs, obsessing over gadgets, or baking cakes.


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