Using visualization as a component of training is an excellent way to enhance muscle memory which will help with internalizing the mechanics of technique execution. Ki is something else altogether. Taking the time to visualize a technique before executing it takes one out of the moment, weakening mind/body coordination which will result in one being in less than his/her most dependable and powerful state (no Ki).
This is why I'm uncomfortable with describing ki as "just" good structure, proper alignment, or even "skillful means." When you try to break it down to physics, you're prone to take an analytic approach--you divide it up into a collection of parts, and then try to link the parts back together by thinking.
This is the opposite of what working with ki should do--ki as a metaphor should link all the parts automatically, through feeling, rather than working at such linkage by thinking. So, yeah, in the moment you should not have to think through what you're doing.
I don't think Ikeda's approach is much different. He's just emphasizing working with the parts--just as ki tests work different aspects--so that when working in the moment you don't have to think through what you're doing.