What are core functions and how do I identify which ones to use for my agency?

A core function is defined as a group of services, products and/or activities designed to achieve a common result(s) necessary to achieve the mission. Defining core functions helps to answer the question, what does state government provide to Iowans for their investment of tax dollars?  In the private sector a core function might equate to a line of business.  In addition to telling Iowans what state government does, core functions link agency planning and performance efforts with budgeted dollars. Decision makers and stakeholders will be able to view trends in core function budget allocations as well as changes in funding allocations across agencies. 

Core functions also provide valuable information such as comparability between agencies related to services provided and results achieved. By recognizing commonalities in the broad set of services provided by state government core functions will encourage work across agency lines to achieve results for Iowans. Coordination and information sharing will also help identify improvement opportunities and best practices to improve service delivery and reduce costs in state government.

Depending on the size and scope of agency operations, the number of core functions will vary. But typically an agency will have between 1-7 core functions. A core function may include several program areas or could encompass the scope of several divisions or the entire agency. The simplest way to identify agency core function(s) is to ask:

What is the agency’s key line(s) of business?

Each agency should review the list and select the core functions that best define its key operations.

Program Area
Performance Management
Topic(s)
Performance Plan, Core Functions

Printed from the Iowa Department of Management website on January 23, 2018 at 7:45am.