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Does a smaller size of Sprint mean more overhead ?

In the organization where I work, most of the Sprint cycles are 3-4 weeks long. When trying to determine the size of what a Sprint should be, most teams new to Scrum do not have any great planning process on how to determine the size of the Sprint cycle, and decide based on their talking to teams that have actually implemented Scrum. This mostly works out to be 3-4 weeks long for the Sprint cycle.
In some cases, when the teams had started implementing Scrum and had spent some months at this, there was a query from a number of people in the team about why the team was doing a Sprint cycle of 3-4 weeks. If the group was involved in supporting other groups, then would not be it better for the group to go in for a shorter Sprint cycle, and maybe even evaluate a much shorter Sprint cycle, as short as 1 week. At this point, there were a number of positions in support and against the thought of reducing the length of the Sprint cycle.
One of the biggest objections to a reduced Sprint cycle was about the extra overhead that the teams would be subject to. So, consider the various planning meetings that happen, such as the Sprint planning meeting where planning and estimation happens, then the meeting where the demo happens, and also the retrospective discussion. Wouldn’t the team have to do all these meetings even when the length of the Sprint cycle was much shorter, and would they not consume too much time in relation to the overall length of the cycle ? After all, if these meetings end up taking around 2 days overall in the Sprint cycle of 4 weeks, when you have to do them for a much shorter sprint cycle of 1 week, the proportion of total time that will be spent in the Sprint cycle for these meetings will be far higher.
I don’t know what you folks think, but I do believe that this is not a correct supposition. If you are doing a much shorter Sprint cycle, the amount of User Stories you discuss will be lesser, and as a result, the amount of time you spend for these meetings will be much lower, and the same will be true for the demo and the retrospective. In addition, with a much shorter Sprint cycle, you will be end up being able to react to changes much quicker.

Book: Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using Scrum

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