The form and content of a software engineering standards taxonomy is described. Applicability is not restricted by software application, size, complexity, critically, or hardware environment. The taxonomy applies to standards (from the related disciplines of engineering management, systems engineering, computer hardware engineering, computer science, and information science) with which a software engineer would be reasonably acquainted and is application independent. The various types of software engineering standards, their functional and external relationships, and the role of various functions participating in the software life cycle are described. The taxonomy can be used in planning the development or evaluation of standards for an organization and could serve as a basis for classifying a set of standards or for organizing a standards manual.