About Work Smarter Together
Work Smarter Together (WST) is a UCD community movement which first came together in 2013 to create the WST 2014 university-wide event. WST emerged from a shared experience of how UCD folk come together to use their creativity and innovation in creating the support ecosystem which makes our teaching and research possible. WST is for all those administrators, academics, technical and support staff who, together, shape our future, meet the challenges which arise, support colleagues and make connections.
WST 2019, the next of our major biennial events, is a University wide event dedicated to all that goes into making UCD an excellent place to teach, to research, to learn and to work. It is about the people and work which shape the ecosystem in which our education and research take place. When we gather on March 14 2019 we will be celebrating the creativity and collaboration that has built our successes and will shape our future: the theme for WST ’19 is “Our people, shaping a better future”.
This community that works smarter together, that finds great creativity and innovation when it collaborates, is around us always and so WST looks to a clear presence in the university beyond these one day events – WST ’14, WST ’17 and now WST ’19. In May 2017 the Registrar and Deputy President, Prof Mark Rogers, launched the WST Community of Practice – the community of those who provide the complex and sophisticated ecosystem which sustains the life of the University, a community coming together to share skills, to learn from one another, to collaborate, to develop our practices.
It is the WST Community of Practice which runs the biennial event, runs other sessions during the year, publishes a WST newsletter three times a year, and provides supports to other communities of practice which form in this space.
UCD Agile is a unit which supports the University’s ‘agility and effectiveness’ agenda, set in the 2015-2020 strategy, and it is the enthusiastic sponsor both of WST 2019 and of the WST Community of Practice, providing institutional support and being a channel for the Registrar and Deputy President’s support for WST.
Read on for a broader take on WST the event and the community of practice, and how UCD Agile supports this.
WST 2019 – more than just a one day event?
Academics, administrators, technical and support staff across the University put a huge amount of time, energy and creativity into making the education and research of the University possible.
WST 2019 is an opportunity for these colleagues from across the University to come together to exchange best practices, attend and host events, and interact via the various digital channels. (To get an idea of what this will involve you can see what we did in 2017 if click here for the WST 2017 programme.)
When we finished WST 2017 we asked ourselves “Why be satisfied with a one day event every couple of years?” We were not – we hoped for more, we launched the WST Community of Practice, we began the sequence of events, newsletters and CoP support that WST has become. So WST 2019 is not just a stand alone event but is the next university-wide gathering of a WST community which is working and sharing and learning across the campus all the time.
UCD Agile and WST
UCD Agile is sponsoring Work Smarter Together for one clear reason – Agile’s ‘agility and effectiveness’ agenda resonates clearly with working smarter together. Part of Agile’s remit is to be a broad support for the people who make the University work and WST is an excellent example of how their creativity and energy has been recognised and celebrated in the past, one which emerged from within the UCD community itself. Staff in Registry, IT Services and the Library hosted the 2014 event and drew from across the University. The group underpinning WST 2017 included the other main support units (Finance, Student Services, HR) and beyond, broadening the scope and interest of what we shared at WST 2017. This same group (same kind of people, some of the same people) has come together to create WST 2019.
What is a community of practice?
There are three components to a community of practice – the domain, the people and the practice.
The WST Community of Practice ‘domain’ is that of enabling the operation of the university, our ‘community’ is all those across the University who contribute to this and want to help, to learn and to share, and our ‘practice’ is the experiences, stories, tools and approaches which we use. This is the practice we support and develop and whose creativity and successes we celebrate in WST 2019.
One of the goals of Agile is to find ways of supporting colleagues across the university. This is one of the reasons we are sponsoring WST 2019. We also provide support, training and other services on an ongoing basis.