A frequent inhibitor to effective development process is misunderstanding of the intended structure and outcome of the recurring events in a batch development cycle/sprint/iteration. I am frequently asked to provide a clear, comprehensive example of how an effective development cycle should be structured.
In service of that need, I have published my preferred approach to structuring the events of a development cycle to the Compendium. The example uses the common 2-week cycle length, and the event sizes should hold for a 3-week cycle. Those using 1-week cycles should be able to scale down the event sizes, but each event should still exist as fundamental parts of the system.
The diagram models the event duration scale relative to days to illustrate just how little time in the cycle is required to have an effective process.