Word watch: Agile

IT lingo has become part of everyday Australian life, according to Australian National Dictionary editor AMANDA LAUGESEN, BA (Hons) '97, PhD '01.

One of the buzzwords of late 2015 was certainly agile.

Undoubtedly, 2016 will continue to see this word being used in the popular media and by politicians, managers and professionals in a variety of fields.

Often used in compounds such as agile economy, agile government, and agile bureaucracy, agile has gained wide popularity, especially in the US and increasingly here in Australia.

Indeed, this word has been given a boost in popularity by new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (along with terms such as innovation, disruption and nimble).

In an Australian Financial Review interview shortly after becoming Prime Minister, Turnbull declared:

"In an age of rapid disruption and volatility you've got to be much more agile and that means you have to be prepared to embrace different ways of doing things."

He called for an agile government and the need for agile leadership.

Turnbull is perhaps influenced by a recent sense of agile, added to Oxford Dictionaries Online in 2013.

This sense defines agile as "a method of project management, used especially for software development that is characterised by the division of tasks into short phases of work and frequent reassessment and adaptation of plans".