Time For Change

Last post 12:04 am June 20, 2020
by Mark Adams
3 replies
02:05 pm June 19, 2020

With the BLM movement making so many positive changes around inclusion and equality, I think its time to address the use of the term "Master" when referring to a Scrum Professional. While it does refer to mastery of scrum, it can easily be offensive.  I plan on bring this topic to my circle of scrum professionals at work and to my manager.  I wanted to solicit feed back from other Scrum Pros and get a feel for what the community thought.  I look forward to your thoughts and opinions.

07:05 pm June 19, 2020

Soft skills are important in agile transformation. I'd suggest that half of this skill lies in not giving offence, and half in not taking it.

10:31 pm June 19, 2020

I have long seen problems with the use of "Master", but admit I have not previously made the connection that I think you're alluding to; and I've never sought to use a different word, because I feel the unilateral renaming of Scrum terminology impedes transparency.

I've always found "master" a pompous name for any role, because aren't good Product Owners and Developers just as likely to be masters in their respective domains? And does that role name encourage greater accessibility to Scrum, and put others in a stronger position to hold Scrum Masters accountable? I would argue (at least in some cultures) it has the opposite effect.

But what I'm referring to is not a new debate, and I don't want to detract too far from your original point.

Epaminondas Skiathitis do you have a proposal for how this role should be named?


12:04 am June 20, 2020

The title does not make or break a man. "Man" is used in a gender-neutral term in this instance. Scrum Masters are trainers, mentors, and the most qualified ones, are coaches. Use any term but do not lose focus of the work. What difference does a title make if the holder does not bring value to themselves, their employer or their customer.