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Quality Glossary - M


Maintainability: The probability that a given maintenance action for an item under given usage conditions can be performed within a stated time interval when the maintenance is performed under stated conditions using stated procedures and resources. Maintainability has two categories: serviceability (the ease of conducting scheduled inspections and servicing) and repairability (the ease of restoring service after a failure).

Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA): An award established by the U.S. Congress in 1987 to raise awareness of quality management and recognize U.S. organizations that have implemented successful quality management systems. The award is managed by the U.S. Commerce Department National Institute of Standards and Technology and administered by ASQ.

Management review: A top management meeting held at planned intervals to review the continuing suitability and effectiveness of one or more of an organization’s management system(s).

Manager: An individual with responsibility and authority over managing a process.

Manufacturing resource planning (MRP II): When material requirements planning and capacity planning and finance interface to translate operational planning into financial terms and into a simulation tool to assess alternative production plans.

Mapping symbols or icons: An easy, effective way to visually communicate the flow of materials and information.

Master Black Belt (MBB): A problem-solving subject matter expert responsible for strategic implementations in an organization. This person is typically qualified to teach other facilitators the statistical and problem-solving methods, tools and applications to use in such implementations.

Material handling: Methods, equipment and systems for conveying materials to various machines and processing areas, and for transferring finished parts to assembly, packaging and shipping areas.

Material requirements planning (MRP): A computerized system typically used to determine the quantity and timing requirements for production and delivery of items to customers and suppliers. Using MRP to schedule production at various processes will result in push production because any predetermined schedule is an estimate only of what the next process will actually need.

Matrix: A document for displaying the relationships among various data sets.

Mean: A measure of central tendency; the arithmetic average of all measurements in a data set.

Mean time between failures (MTBF): The average time interval between failures for a repairable machine, piece of equipment or product for a defined unit of measure; for example, operating hours, cycles and miles.

Measure: The criteria, metric or means to which a comparison is made with output.

Measurement: The act or process of determining a value. An approximation or estimate of the value of the specific quantity subject to measurement, which is complete only when accompanied by a quantitative statement of its uncertainty.

Measurement system: All operations, procedures, devices and other equipment, personnel and environment used to assign a value to the characteristic being measured.

Measurement uncertainty: In metrology, a non-negative parameter characterizing the dispersion of the values attributed to a measured quantity.

Median: The middle number or center value of a set of data in which all the data are arranged in sequence.

Metric: A standard for measurement.

Metrology: The science of weights and measures or of measurement; a system of weights and measures.

MIL-Q-9858A: A military standard that describes quality program requirements.

MIL-STD-105E: A military standard that describes the sampling procedures and tables for inspection by attributes.

MIL-STD-45662A: A military standard that describes the requirements for creating and maintaining a calibration system for measurement and test equipment.

Mission: An organization’s purpose.

Mistake proofing: Improving processes to prevent mistakes from being made or passed downstream. This term can be contrasted with error proofing, which means improving designs to prevent mistakes from being made. Some, however, consider these two terms synonymous and applicable to products and processes.

Mode: The value occurring most frequently in a data set.

Monument: Any design, scheduling or production technology with scale requirements that call for designs, orders and products to be brought to the machine to wait in line for processing. The opposite of a right sized (see listing) machine.

Muda: Japanese for waste; any activity that consumes resources but creates no value for the customer.

Multivariate control chart: A control chart for evaluating the stability of a process in terms of the levels of two or more variables or characteristics.

New! Multivoting: A technique used to make a consensus decision when numerous alternatives exist or when those involved in making or approving the decision have differing opinions. Similar to nominal group technique (see listing).

Mutual recognition agreement (MRA): A formal agreement providing reciprocal recognition of the validity of other organizations’ deliverables, typically found in voluntary standards and conformity assessment groups.

Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI): A method and instrument for identifying an individual’s personality type based on Carl Jung’s theory of personality preferences.