About WST

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.  

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, WST17,  WST19, WST21 and now WST23.  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 and it is the enthusiastic sponsor both of WST21 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.

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 WST17 and WST19 included the other main support units (Finance, Student Services, HR) and beyond, broadening the scope and interest of what we shared at WST17 and WST19.  This same spirit of community engagement will underpin WST21. 


Our 2021 biennial event (WST21) took place during the week of 8-12th March 2021: the theme  was “Work smart while being apart”.   These biennial events are University wide, 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.   Our gathering celebrated the creativity and collaboration that has built our successes and will shape our future:  

For full details of the sessions see WST21 Programme.  Click into each day’s programme for the presentations and videos. 


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 was 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. 

The event took place on March 13 and 14 2019 – here you will find details of the main WST ’19 event including presentations from the parallel sessions. 

Along with a variety of parallel sessions, we were delighted to welcome our two guest speakers who gave stimulating and thought-provoking talks:

  • Manley Hopkinson, author and internationally acclaimed speaker.  
  • Aine McCleary, President of the Institute of Banking and Director, Distribution Channels at Bank of Ireland.

In addition, a vibrant and diverse poster exhibition was held.  The poster gallery can be viewed here.

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 WST21.

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 WST21. We also provide support, training and other services on an ongoing basis.