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I've set our sprints up to last for 2 weeks, nominally 10 days. Day 1 starts with planning and then moves to start development. Day 10 has S&T and Retro, but also cleans up the release/tidies the Boards/backlog etc.

It's now been suggested to me that a 10 day sprint should have 10 days of development, and then a deliberate 1 (or 2) day gap to be built in to allow the agile ceremonies etc.

Should there be a gap? Or should the sprint also contain the ceremonies?

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There is no gap between sprints. After the Review and Retro, the next thing is the next sprint's planning. Now, what you describe doesn't sound like a gap as much as it is a 12-day sprint instead of a 10-day sprint. There is nothing inherently wrong with a 12-day sprint. The reason that most teams use 5, 10, 15, and 20-day sprints is because it puts the ceremonies on the same day of the week and it's just easier to keep track of.

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    This is it. It's true that the ceremonies can easily eat up one or two days. But if you manage to finish your work in between meetings there's no good reason to call it late. Just don't plan to get much done these days. – candied_orange Aug 23 '17 at 4:37

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