Blogs - The Structure

The conversation begins and ends with the function.  This is always true.  7FM will lay any product or process design flat.  The function will always tell you how to remove causes.

There are currently three blogs that are planned

  1. Automotive Functional Safety
  2. 7FM methodologies
  3. Problem Solving and Root Cause Analysis

I will blog on Functional Safety and 7FM and at the same time.  As the chapters of the new books pass their final edit, they will be released.  The titles of the books are “Design for Functional Safety,” and “The Seven Failure Modes – 7FM 2nd Edition.”  Design for Functional Safety will use 7FM techniques and these techniques will guide solid designs.  Functional Safety will clearly show how to satisfy the work product requirements.

The public can view, read, and download the copyrighted blogs on problem solving.

Members can view read, and download the copyrighted blogs on Automotive Functional Safety and 7FM Methodologies.  Members will be updated on new blog releases as well as chapter releases.  If they have purchased chapters and the chapters are edited, they will be able to download a free update.

The chapters of each book will be available for purchase as eBooks.  The entire book can be purchased or just chapters.

Design for Functional Safety is planned to be 400 pages and the first chapters are currently being written.

The Seven Failure Modes – 7FM is currently over 500 pages.  Each chapter will go through it’s final edit and be released.  The start of the 7FM blogs and chapters will be released soon.

FUNCTIONAL SAFETY BLOG – Starting the Conversation

This will be a blog that begins with Functional Safety Concept Design Topics, then progress sequentially through Functional Safety Systems Design Topics, and will end with Hardware Systems and Hardware E/E design topics.  The flow will match the development of my new book, “Design for Functional Safety.”  The eBook can be purchased on this website chapter by chapter as it is written.

7FM will be used in all phases of each analysis.  This will show, for example that the failure states for steering will be [O, +, -, V, U, +T] or Omission of Change, Excessive Response, Incomplete Response, Unstable Response, Uneven/Biased Response, or Takes too Long to respond.  Each function’s response is determined against its current mode of operation, it’s counterpart functions of velocity, acceleration, deceleration, predicted instability, time and distance to other obstacles, potential time to impact, as well as the Level of ASIL and its SAE L1-L5 design requirements.  Detecting steering fault states is too late in the sequence.  These will only be useful for the direct vehicle control E/E functions commanded by its software and their actuator failures.  All other failures occur in time before vehicle control is sent command requests, which are the solutions from planning and dynamic control.  Planning is based upon the destination and the constraints between the current location, its optimal trajectory, and the constraints that limit the optimal trajectory.  This thought process continues to earlier times to include localization, Map, Perception, Object Characterization, and finally to the object detection sensors.  The earliest failure mode/fault states will be laid bare.  7FM guides the entire process and nothing that is knowable can be missed.  The entire sequence from sensors to actuation will be laid bare.  Once the fault states are determined, their detection, risks, and mitigation levels will be assignable.  7FM produces a complete temporal fault state map from sensors to actuations.  The fault sequences are easy to see and to take into a fault state manager which can always pick out the first fault state that is responsible for the following spiderweb of fault states.

There will be an additional chapter on Design for Functional Safety for Software as well as one for Cyber Security.

ADAS: Automated Driving Assist Systems.  Driver monitors environment and is responsible for assuming control.

ADS: Automated Driving Systems.  The system is responsible for monitoring the environment.  The assumption is that there is no human intervention or controllability.

Please review the topics for Functional Safety Training and consider what it would be like to have an expert to guide your teams.  This would be an expert who has already gone through the thought process and really understands how to model the entire function sequence from sensors to vehicle actuations.  This will be the nature of the book, “Design for Functional Safety.” 

The conversation begins with the function.  The story is the sequence of functions.  The sequence of functions carries the conditions for success that control the integrity of the function (the function’s requirements).  The sequence includes the degradation factors for the function.  The function must satisfy the requirements of the following function.  This is equivalent of dominos and Legos®.

There will be a blog on preparing for the Item Definition.  The second blog will be on Item Definition.  It will consider L1-L5 applications, and will likely be more than a single blog.  The Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment will be more than one blog and each will focus on a different SAE level of autonomy.  Each will end with Safety Goals and Functional Safety Requirements.  The next series of Blogs will be on Safety Concepts.  Each set of Functional Safety Requirements is supported by safety concepts.  This is the theoretical system level design in broad-strokes.  The safety concept covers the functional sequences from sensors to actuations.  The safey concept is where the initial safety mechanisms are planned.  It is also where decomposition of ASIL rated functions is first addressed.  This will lead to conversations relating to State-of-the-Art technology.  State-of-the-Art is used as part of development.  It is used to see and understand the environment and objects.  It is used to reduce the risks of hazards.  What State-of-the-Art means will be explained in practical terms.

The Blogs for ISO 26262 Part 3: Concept and Part 4: Will follow the planed chapters in the book which are as follows.  7FM FMEA will be integrated into the materials so that 100% of the required work product is completed along with the safety case required for Functional Safety Product Certification.  Members will be able to purchase copies of the 7FM Functional Safety Workbook.  The workbook shows where and how each requirement is directly and completely satisfied.  It is indexed to the standard so any audit question is directly addressed.  Anyone who takes the training will be led through this analysis.  Those who purchase training with ongoing support will have ongoing workshops with me.  Produce safe designs that will not fail certification.

  1. Overview
  2. Preparing for the Item Definition
  3. The Item Definition
  4. The HARA, The Domain, Collapsing the Scenarios, Exposure, Objects, Vehicle Level Functions
  5. Safety Goals
  6. Functional Safety Requirements
  7. Safety Concept
  8. System Level Functional Block Diagram
  9. System Level function, Definitions, Technical Safety Requirements, and Specifications
  10. Failure Modes and the Temporal Fault State Map
  11. Effects and Related Vehicle Level Hazards
  12. Design Parameters and Causes, HSI, Hardware, Software, and Allocation
  13. Safety Mechanisms: Fault Detection and System Safety Response
  14. Prevention of Systemic Failures
  15. Design Verification and Review
  16. DVP&R: Integration and Testing, Performance, Fault Injection, Degradation, Test to Failure


John Lindland

7FM FMEA BLOG – Starting the Conversation

7FM FMEA techniques meet and exceed the requirement set forth by AIAG, VDA, and SAE reference documents.  They will guarantee that the Safety of the Intended Function (SOTIF) standard is met and exceeded.  They ensure that systems monitor the quality of the functions rather than the effects.  The functions which relate to significant safety or performance risks are monitored and function degradation and failure is monitored and that if safety is involved, a redundant function or in the case of functionals safety an ASIL decomposed function (a redundant function) is activated so performance is guaranteed.  If a safe performance cannot be guaranteed, a safe state stop is designed into the decision-making process.  Product and Process Designs are series of functions.  These functions act like dominos.  To reach any distance, there are a minimum number of dominos.  To be faster, the distance needs to be reduced and the number of dominos also reduced.  Removing a root cause means that a function has to be eliminated.  For product design, dimensions make a design work and materials make the dimensions last.  Components have the dimensions.  energy enters one dimension and exists another dimension or in the case of a structure, withstands stress with a suitable amount of strain (deformation).  Assembly functions are the result of component functions working together in a temporal or time sequence.  System functions are the result of assembly functions working in their domino sequence.  Every function has requirements for their success.  Every function has requirements which must be met. 

7FM brings functions together and explains what is optimal for theoretical problem solving (failure mode and effects analysis) and applied problem solving.  In its matrix form, it is faster and more powerful than Six Sigma.  Six Sigma can take six months to a year while 7FM techniques take days, weeks, and for the most complex problems a few months.  7FM is the next evolution of quality methods.

I have been rewriting “The Seven Failure Modes, 7FM” since I first published the book in 2007.  The book’s title changed to Quantum Quality to state that 7FM produces a sudden and dramatic improvement in quality, reliability, and performance.  It shortens problem solving from months to hours and weeks and years to weeks and months.  Every time I reached a point where I thought that the book was ready to publish, I decided to rewrite or completely edit it one more time.  7FM is not just seven failure modes, seven fault states, seven errors, seven faulty energy transfers, or seven faulty actions.  It is a complete thought process that follows time and energy through a design or a process.  7FM understands functions, their designs, their controlling factors, their degrading factors, and how to slow down or eliminate degradation.  It works on all technologies and at all levels of product or process design.  It works to lay bare all problems and leaves root causes and their solutions bare for the team to see.  It makes solutions clear and tractable.  7FM aligns all requirements sequentially through each function.

This blog will mirror image the final rewrite and release of 7FM FMEA 2nd Edition.  Each chapter will be offered in an eBook that can be purchased from this site on a chapter by chapter basis.  The entire book can be purchased or just the chapters of interest.  The blogs will contain valuable thoughts.  The chapters in the book will explain the secrets in their simplest and most direct form.

The blog will include many topics that cover the essential ideas from the following chapters of “The Seven Failure Modes – 7FM 2nd Ed.”  The blog will help everyone understand the topics well.  The book will explain the deeper understanding.  Currently, the book is over 500 pages and it is comprehensive. 

I write as if I am explaining ideas to a person who is standing in front of me.  Anyone who is a member and has purchased a chapter or the full book will have access to ask me questions and I will do my best to help you understand. 

Hopefully, this will include you.  I am going to perform a final edit and will release the chapters for sale as eBooks as soon as they are completed.  The first chapters will be ready starting in early September 2020.

  1. An Overview of FMEA
  2. Effective Teams
  3. Functions
  4. Requirements
  5. Failure Modes
  6. 7FM Concept FMEA
  7. 7FM System FMEA
  8. 7FM Assembly FMEA
  9. 7FM Component FMEA
  10. 7FM Design Matrix FMEA
  11. Design Verification Plan and Report
  12. 7FM Macro Process FMEA (raw materials, materials, manufacturing, assembly, system assembly)
  13. 7FM Micro Process FMEA (all actions/energy transfers of an operation)
  14. 7FM Process Matrix FMEA
  15. The Process Control Plan
  16. 7FM Tooling and Equipment FMEA
  17. 7FM Design Root Cause Analysis
  18. 7FM Process Root Cause Analysis

I look forward to getting to know many of you!


John Lindland

Problem Solving and Root Cause Analysis – Starting the Conversation

All the problem solving tools and strategies will be contained in “The Seven Failure Modes – 7FM.”  However, I receive questions that are often provocative and the answers can benefit many people.  This blog will explore and expand on these topics.

In the absence of a defined process, root causes cannot be found, solutions cannot be carried out.  Nothing is stable.  Everyone does the work differently.  Work is not controlled.  Solutions will not be controlled.  There is no stability.  There is no definable capability.

In the absence of a defined design, root causes do not exist.  Dimensions, materials, interfaces, orientation, location, attachments, software, wiring, power, and all else are different for every design.  Craftsmanship is the scope for an absence of design.  Some individual products will be very nice.  Most will be problematic.  The future cannot be predicted.  

For the most part, the topics of this blog will be in response to the questions that I might be asked from the “Take-Action” button.  I will respond to everyone.  In some cases, our conversation might lead to giving free advice and direction.  If the question is too involved and you are interested, we can talk training or consulting.  The lead time to get on my schedule ranges from 8 weeks for one or two days and 6 months to find an open week.  But, as my lovely wife suggest, I am always working.  I find time for friends.

These topics will range from specific 7FM Root Cause Analysis applications with examples, applied statistics with examples and conclusions, and design of experiments.  Sometimes they might be how to set up a study and get going.

A few John Lindland Quotes

  • “The conversation begins and ends with the function.” 
  • “Understand the functions and you will understand the causes and how to eliminate them.”
  • “7FM will lay any product or process design flat.  Nothing will be left to the imagination.” 
  • “The causes of failure modes that produce the problems/effects being studied all have conditions for their success.”
  • “Failure Modes are Poor Quality Functions.” 
  • “All Failure Modes can be Detected.”
  • “Effects are the result of a poor quality function”
  • “Dimensions make the design work and materials make the design last.” 
  • “Energy consumes all material over time.”  
  • “Safety factors of 3 or more are designed for infinite life and these are over 50% of the parts on any car taken to the junk yard at the end of the vehicle’s life.” 
  • “Noise can only be caused by “too quickly” and “erratic” failure modes.”
  • “All effects with the exception of noise and thermal events must follow the function sequence.  There are not exceptions.”


John Lindland