ChartSmartXL Software Validation

Software Development & Testing

In 2013, the ChartSmartXL celebrated its 17th anniversary. The ChartSmartXL have changed a lot over those 17 + years, but one thing hasn’t changed. That is our commitment to providing affordable, accurate, easy to use SPC software to quality and process improvement personnel in varying industries.

Some people confuse affordable with cheap. They then take the next leap from cheap to unreliable. It just isn’t so with the ChartSmartXL. Here’s why.

How can we keep our prices so low?

The ChartSmartXL is an add-in for Microsoft Excel. Therefore, we let Excel do all of the heavy lifting. We don’t have to create and maintain a separate application.

We also keep our overhead low. We don’t have a huge in-house sales staff or fancy offices and you certainly won’t ever attend a conference where the ChartSmartXL is a platinum sponsor.

How do we make sure the ChartSmartXL are accurate?

The ChartSmartXL were developed and are maintained using the methodology in Jay Arthur's three books on software development and maintenance:

  • Rapid Evolutionary Development (Wiley 1992)
  • Software Evolution - The Software Maintenance Challenge (Wiley 1998)
  • Software Quality (Wiley 1994)

ChartSmartXL output is validated using the following methods:

  1. Validated by manual calculations
  2. Validated against textbook examples
  3. Validated against other software

Our Software Development and Testing Process

Requirements - come from three sources:

  1. Customers

    Most of our best ideas come from customers. We track requests from our technical support line, from our website comment forms and through direct conversations with customers.

    Customers requesting new functionality are asked to help us identify a resource for the requested calculations that is generally accepted and well known in their industry.

  2. Statistical and Quality Textbooks

    ChartSmartXL formulas and test data come from well known and generally accepted text books and publications. Resources used to validate and verify our formulas and results include:

    • Juran's Quality Control Handbook (4th), McGraw Hill, NY, 1988.
    • Douglas Montgomery, Introduction to Statistical Process Control (4th), John Wiley & Sons, NY, 2001.
    • Montgomery Instructor Companion Site includes Data Sets Referenced in Montgomery's book
    • Douglas Montgomery, Design and Analysis of Experiments (5th), John Wiley & Sons, NY, 2001.
    • Engineering Statistics On Line Handbook

3. Standards Bodies for Various Industries

We monitor standards bodies for various industries. When these bodies come out with new requirements they are incorporated into the ChartSmartXL. Examples of these groups include:

  • Joint Commission on Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)
  • Automotive Industry Action Group - AIAG resources used include:
    • Statistical Process Control (SPC) 2nd edition, AIAG, 2005
    • Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA) 3rd edition, AIAG, 2002.
    • Production Part Approval Process (PPAP), 4th edition AIAG, 2006
    • Advanced Product Quality Planning and Control Plan, AIAG, 1995
    • Potential Failure Mode and Effects Analysis, 3rd edition, AIAG, 2001


The ChartSmartXL are written in VBA. Releases occur on a monthly basis and include new functionality, performance enhancements and bug fixes.


  • Unit and System Test: All changes to individual macros and templates are unit tested by a separate department.
  • Regression Testing: All changes to the macros and templates are regression tested through Excel 95-2007 in both Windows and the Macintosh environments.
  • Test Data: The ChartSmartXL are validated using the test data provided with the software. The ChartSmartXL setup file loads this data on your computer at c:\chartsmartxl\testdata.
  • Each test file specifies the book reference (Juran's Quality Handbook or Montgomery's Intro to SPC) used for validation. Gage R&R template was verified against AIAG MSA Version 3.
  • The ChartSmartXL have been independently verified by several healthcare and manufacturing organizations.

Validation Data and Expected Test Results

Formulas - ChartSmartXL formulas can be viewed on our formulas page.

Technical Support - Users can contact us about technical questions in a variety of ways:

  • On-line - View our tech support page and frequently asked questions at
  • Call 1-888-208-4554 or (303) 757-2039 - Monday thru Friday between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm Mountain time
  • Email - please attach a spreadsheet of your data and the ChartSmartXL results.

Questions regarding the ChartSmartXL are always free. However, we charge a $95 fee for Excel and SPC coaching (up to 1/2 hour).

If you find a bug, we will fix it and send you a corrected file at no charge.


Purchase ChartSmartXL through our secure shopping cart!