Scrum Language: the term Scrum “Master”

Here is something I get a lot when doing Agile coaching: I hear comments about Scrum terms and words. One of them is ‘Scrum Master’.

‘Master’ associates with acquisition of complete knowledge or skill. However, ‘master’ also associates with:



  • One having authority over another
  • One that conquers
  • One having control, especially over a slave or animal, also the employer of a servant

People who know Scrum know that the Scrum Master is supposed to be a servant, a servant-leader.

And that is the problem. Language frames reality.

Here is a term that refers to a servant as a ‘master’. I understand that Jeff and Ken mean the other kind of master, the master of a skill called Scrum. However, not everyone hears it that way. I know because I get comments on this matter and questions, all the time from Agile coaching clients new to Scrum. They are hearing “authority over”, “control over a servant”, etc.

Language matters !

Are you getting these comments and questions about the term ‘Scrum Master’?

Let me know.