QI Macros Software Validation
Software Development & Testing
In 2016, QI Macros celebrated its 20th anniversary. QI Macros has changed a lot over 20 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 QI Macros. Here’s why.
How can we keep our prices so low?
QI Macros 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 QI Macros is a platinum sponsor.
How do we make sure the QI Macros are accurate?
QI Macros 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)
QI Macros output is validated using the following methods:
- Validated by manual calculations
- Validated against textbook examples
- Validated against other software
Our Software Development and Testing Process
Requirements - come from three sources:
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.
- Statistical and Quality Textbooks
QI Macros 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
- 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 QI Macros. Examples of these groups include:
- Joint Commission on Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)
- Automotive Industry Action Group - http://www.aiag.org/Index.cfm. 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
Note: JCAHO uses QI Macros for Improvement Advisor Training.
QI Macros 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: QI Macros are validated using the test data provided with the software. QI Macros setup file loads this data on your computer at c:\qimacros\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.
- QI Macros have been independently verified by several healthcare and manufacturing organizations.
- QI Macros uses Ford data to certify Gage R&R and Cp Cpk / Pp Ppk.
Download QI Macros Software Validation Statement (PDF,132 Kb)
Download Ford MSA Validation Spreadsheet (.xls,1.55 MB)
Resources to Run Your Own Validation Test
The links below provide resources to run your own QI Macros validation test. Follow these steps:
- If you have a version of QI Macros purchased in July 2015 or more recently, download the QIMacros-Validation Test Data (XLS, 600 Kb) zip file and extract the contents:
- QI Macros Validation Macro - this Excel spreadsheet includes test data from the AIAG SPC Manual, 2nd Edition
- QI Macros Validation Results - this Excel spreadsheet includes Gage R&R test data and results in the first two tabs and the expected charts from the Validation Macro in the remaining tab.
- Open the Validation Macro file and click on the "Run Verification Tests" button. A macro will run and create QI Macros charts for each data set.
- Open the Validation Results spreadsheet and compare with the Macros results.
- To make comparison easier, screen shots of the Validation Results charts have been copied into a pdf file. This pdf file also includes screens shots of charts run in Minitab with the same data sets. Download the Expected Test Results and Comparison to Minitab® (PDF, 1.5 Mb).
Formulas - QI Macros 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 /support/qi-macros-tech-support/
- Call 1-888-468-1537 or (303) 756-9144 - Monday thru Friday between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm Mountain time
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org - please attach a spreadsheet of your data and the QI Macros results.
Questions regarding the QI Macros 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.