Purpose: This paper aims to present a conceptual framework of how software teams can leverage the implicit information of implemented acceptance tests to cater to the needs of decision makers. The research questions on this framework were how business stakeholders can receive project status information in an intuitive way and how this framework can guarantee the traceability of tests to requirements. Design/methodology/approach: The conceptual framework delineates the design of an acceptance test framework in three aspects: how the requirements model reflects the evolving states of requirement maturity over a project, how the acceptance test model becomes synchronized with the requirements model without a traceability matrix and how the acceptance test model communicates business value to the decision makers. Findings: In an industrial case study, the presented framework yielded the positive effects of intuitive understanding by business stakeholders, high test coverage of requirements and distinctly reduced manual quality assurance (QA) work by automated testing for browsers and mobile devices. Practical implications: The presented framework can help to convince business stakeholders to approve the budget for building a testing framework because it delivers them value as a status reporting tool. Originality/value: This paper is the first to describe a step-by-step approach to solving a critical problem that IT departments frequently face. The solution consists in a new way of transforming the perception of a technical framework into a reporting tool for business information by intuitive design. The idea of mapping hierarchically corresponding abstraction layers can be transferred to other engineering domains.
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