Guide to Selection and Application of Software Engineering Standards

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Information Technology Support for
Software Engineering

Guide to Selection and Application of
Software Engineering Standards

July 1999

Defense Information Systems Agency
Joint Interoperability and Engineering Organization
Center for Information Technology Standards
Technical Architecture and Assessment Division



The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Center for Information Technology Standards
(CFITS) is responsible for identifying standards suitable for use by the Department of Defense
(DOD). In accordance with DOD policy, emphasis is placed on the selection of national,
international, and de facto commercial standards in lieu of unique military standards (MIL-STD).

As part of this effort, the DISA CFITS has initiated the Software Engineering Standards Working
Group (SESWG) to identify the standards needed by the software engineering community and to
develop mechanisms addressing specific software engineering standards issues. The SESWG will
assist the DOD regarding the reduction and/or elimination of unique military
standards/specifications by assessing all existing and emerging military software engineering
standards and providing the focal point for determining the feasibility of adopting appropriate de
jure and de facto commercial standards or submitting selected military specifications/standards to
national and international Standards Development Organizations (SDO) for consideration.

This guide, developed with the support of the SESWG, addresses concerns raised by the
SESWG. This document provides guidance on the selection and application of standards in the
software engineering process. It is to be used by program managers and contractors tasked to
select, evaluate, and/or apply software engineering standards to their software effort.

This document presents information on sources of standards and guidance for assessing standards
for DOD programs. It also contains sources of assistance in software engineering methods and
recommendations on how to address deficiencies or gaps found in standards as they apply to
particular programs or DOD needs.