To answer your question...as I understand things at the moment...I'd express it as: intent>connection>kuzushi; connection permits moving as a unit; kuzushi being the undermining of uke's structure that enables the technique. Timing gets you where you need to be at the right time and certainly can't be disregarded!
Nice post Janet. Easy to say... hard to do. With proper training and good uke that give a real attack and try to recover if you do what you said and do their best within the yakusoku of the training to keep being "dangerous" it can become "not so difficult." Correct intent and continuation of that intent is necessary in both parties to learn timing and where you "need to be."