A structured method employing matrix analysis for linking what the market requires to how it will be accomplished in the development effort. This method is most frequently used during the stage of development when a multifunctional team agrees on how customer needs relate to product specifications and the features that deliver those needs. By explicitly linking these aspects of product design, QFD minimizes the possibility of omitting important design characteristics or interactions across design characteristics. QFD is also an important mechanism in promoting multifunctional teamwork. Developed and introduced by Japanese auto manufacturers, QFD is widely used in the automotive industry.