What does a Somo x Audi hack day look like?

Ben Magnus , VP of Product, Americas
08 November 2021

Somo and the Audi of America and Audi Canada Digital Business teams recently hosted its second Hack Day of 2021, a virtual event that brought together colleagues from Audi and its partners at Somo, BIMM, and IXIS.

Hack Days create the opportunity for a group of people with varied skills to work together in teams to explore an idea, theme, or technology. Hack Days follow a structured process to deliver meaningful results in a short timeframe (typically 1-2 days). Usually, the goal is to create real, coded software prototypes, but increasingly, we see clickable prototypes and detailed Miro boards have just as much impact.

Hack Days are attached to the Audi of America and Audi Canada Digital Business teams’ quarterly Digital Planning Sessions and serve two main objectives. Firstly, to create a platform that enables us to meet and collaborate with team members we do not usually get a chance to work with. Secondly, it provides an opportunity for us to step away from our day-to-day work to focus on tackling selected business challenges in new and innovative ways. During this day-long event, 180 people split into 18 teams to develop and present creative solutions to the following theme: 

How can we reimagine the Certified pre-owned (CPO) program in a way that delivers maximum value for us, our dealers, and our customers, and sets us up to compete with the new market entrants on an ongoing basis?

Prior to the Hack Day, we met with the CPO team to define pillars related to the theme above to help guide the Hack Day teams’ thinking. The pillars spanned the entire CPO journey, from the initial certification process through to aftersales and loyalty. Each pillar then had a number of “How might we” statements focused on key business challenges for the teams to address.

At the end of the Hack Day, each team had 7 minutes to present their output, followed by 3 minutes of Q&A with the CPO team. Each team was scored based on the potential business and customer value derived from their idea, the strength of their presentation, and the quality of their demo. The highest-scoring teams were identified and teams that developed similar ideas were connected. Groups were then given a week to refine their ideas before presenting them back to the CPO team and members of Audi leadership.

The Hack Day received positive feedback from participants. A post-event survey showed that 84% found the Hack Day to be valuable for meeting and collaborating with different colleagues and 75% said it helped provide a better understanding of Audi’s business and customer challenges. Participants also said the Hack Day was fun (80%) and interesting (84%).

Doug Kushin, Digital Portfolio Manager at Audi of America, said: 

The Hack Day ideas were well received by the CPO team. The concepts generated show the power of bringing a diverse group of people together to tackle real business challenges.

Somo has its own tried-and-tested format for running Hack Days, refined over 11 years of running them internally and for a variety of clients. To learn more about Hack Days, including how Somo can help run one for your organization, please reach out to marketing@somoglobal.com.